Avatar: The Way of Water is taking the box office by storm as the highly anticipated and long-awaited follow-up to James Cameron‘s 2009 record-breaking success and it has already brought in $435 million in revenue for its opening weekend. One of the most exciting aspects of the original film’s release 13 years ago was getting to experience the groundbreaking visuals in 3D, something that the sequel also gives movie-goers the chance to do. Even 13 years after the 3D hot period, the ability to see Pandora as close as possible still holds strong for many fans going to see The Way of Water as new projections made based on data from Comscore are pointing to an estimated 66% of the opening weekend sales came from 3D ticket sales.
Based on these projections, it would seem that China is the market that is at the front of the 3D sales for the new film with an estimated 99% of all moviegoers in the country that saw Avatar: The Way of Water seeing it in the 3D format. In North America, an estimated 58% of moviegoers purchased 3D tickets, and internationally, 66% of this week’s audience experienced the film in 3D. This data would mean that the film made just over $287 million from the 3D format during its worldwide opening weekend while it made a little over $77.7 million towards its $134 million domestic box office.
Just as the original Avatar did, Avatar: The Way of Water has set a new benchmark for the current 3D marketplace,” said Travis Reid, CEO and President of Cinema of RealD, the world’s largest 3D company. “James Cameron and his team have shown what is artistically, creatively, and commercially possible when you have filmmakers completely committed to immersing audiences in this 3D world and the result is visually mind-blowing. We expect to continue to see strong 3D results worldwide thru the holiday and new year.”
Avatar: The Way of Water‘s Opening Compared To The Rest Of The Movies This Year
While the $135 million at the domestic box office is impressive, even beating out the weekend one total of Top Gun: Maverick ($126 million), which has gone on to be the year’s highest-grossing film, it falls short of $150 million to $175 million range that it was projected to open with. This domestic opening does outpace the original Avatar and that film went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time, so a very successful if below-projected opening doesn’t mean it won’t also post extremely high numbers. With movie-goers still having a want to experience the majesty of Pandora in 3D, it is possible that the format will draw in more people for multiple viewings as the original film did, but we will have to wait and see if the power of the format is still as strong of a draw as it was over a decade ago.
Avatar: The Way of Water is now out in theaters. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates about the blockbuster film. Watch our interview with Cameron below: