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Avatar: The Way of Water’ is missing box office expectations

Avatar” The Way of Water” fell short of lofty box office expectations, but international ticket sales spark hope that the long-awaited sequel could still pull in a substantial global haul.

The film snared $134 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend, short of the $175 million that industry analysts had predicted, and just under the $135 million to $150 million range that Disney had forecast.

The film is tied with Warner Bros.′ “The Batman,” which also generated $134 million during its domestic opening in March, as the fifth-highest opening of the year.

Internationally, “Way of Water” tallied $300.5 million, bringing the film’s opening weekend haul to $434.5 million.

Notably, China accounted for $57.1 million in ticket sales for the three-day opening weekend.

The Chinese box office contributed around $265 million to “Avatar’s” global tally a decade ago, but the market has grown significantly since. Prior to the pandemic, China was the second-highest-grossing theatrical market in the world.

Since cinemas reopened in the country, it has been one of the fastest markets to recover and generate box office success.

In 2009, China’s overall box office reached $910 million. A decade later, it topped $8 billion.

The first film had incredible staying power at the box office, running in theaters through August 2010, a staggering 234 days. “Avatar” ultimately generated $760 million in the U.S. and Canada and more than $2 billion from international markets during its initial theatrical run.

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas