US Reporter

Avatar Sequel Needs to Have a Stronger Week 2

As Avatar: The Way of Water opens its second week, box office experts and producers anticipate increased ticket sales.

The Avatar sequel film fell short of the production and analyst expectations when it premiered last week. Domestic ticket sales were estimated to be at $134 million. However, the first week of ticket sales fell a million dollars shy of Disney’s estimated range of $135 million to $150 million.

Furthermore, it was much lower than the $175 million in domestic sales predicted by box office analysts. The newest Avatar film tied with Warner Bros.’ The Batman film for the fifth-best opening in 2022. However, due to lower-than-expected first-week sales, many experts are beginning to doubt filmmaker James Cameron’s $2 billion global box office objective.

As of last Thursday, global sales for the Avatar film totaled $600 million, almost one-fourth of Cameron’s aim for the picture. Experts predict that the second week of the Avatar film will determine its profitability.

Several experts have discovered a link between the strength of a film’s second opening week and its overall lifespan in theaters. According to analysts, most films plummeted from 50% to 70% during the second week.

“I think ‘Avatar 2’ will continue to slay all day through the year and into the next. The drop will be sizable, sure, but not like a traditional Marvel drop as Cameron’s film is really the only game in town for families for weeks, if not months,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst from the Exhibitor Relations.

“In the big picture, I’d expect a leggy box office run whose story won’t be told on opening weekend alone. This is not a comic book blockbuster with an apparent rabid fan base to front-load sales. James Cameron’s films have historically engaged general audiences deep into their theatrical windows. However, it’s worth considering that the box office climate has changed even since his previous Avatar film in 2009,” said Shawn Robbins, chief media analyst.

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No tremendous competitor for Avatar

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Disney’s next blockbuster, will be dropped on February 17. This would provide Avatar: The Way of Water a period without a serious opponent. As a result, it should occupy the attention of Marvel fans. Furthermore, Christmas and New Year’s ticket sales account for around 5% of total ticket sales. Before the arrival of Covid, holiday weeks typically averaged $400 million to $600 million in sales.

Box office sales have dropped as a result of the pandemic. Ticket sales have dropped by 35% since 2019. However, with nations loosening Covid limitations, the year’s final week should help films acquire popularity and high income. Many critics praised Cameron’s directing of the Avatar picture, with some claiming that it should be considered one of the year’s biggest films. While the film’s three-hour running duration put many off, reviews were mostly positive.

“This second weekend has long been destined for deflated numbers due to Christmas Eve, but that’s why it’s so critical to view the film’s run based on the strength of weekdays and weekends combined over the long holiday corridor,” chief analyst Shawn Robbins said.

“There have been a number of pre-determined headlines about this sequel for years, but let’s wait and reserve judgment based on what the global numbers tell us over the next couple of weeks,” he added.

“James Cameron is no stranger to the importance of the long game when it comes to the box office. His films [have previously relied] heavily on the currency of audience excitement building over time rather than an opening weekend pop,” said Comscore social media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

“I like difficult. I’m attracted by difficulty. Difficult is a fucking magnet for me. So I go straight to difficult. And I think it probably goes back to this idea that there are many smart, gifted, talented filmmakers out there that just can’t do the difficult stuff. So that gives me a tactical edge to do something nobody else has ever seen because the gifted people don’t fucking want to do it,” said Cameron.

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Critics’ feedback

Many reviews praised the three-hour-long Avatar film, praising its graphics and sound design. Others, however, believe that the extended run duration impacts the script.

“The sequel to Cameron’s 2009 box office hit, ‘Avatar: The Way of Water,’ is simply bigger and better than its predecessor in every regard,” said Eric Francisco, a movie reviewer.

“It demands the biggest screen you can find so that its most potent elements — from its impossible scale and skillful spectacle to its more complete range of emotions and thematic romanticism — can be completely absorbed,” he added.

“As is the case with most of Cameron’s films, what elevates his work is the bravado of his execution, allowing magnificent beasts and scenery prime real estate on the screen, while large-scale battles have tight spatial and rhythmic coherence.”

“Both never fail to inspire awe. The bioluminescent creatures and caverns aren’t just a dazzling visual to distract us. They work in tandem with the storytelling to create a revelatory experience.”

Photo Credit: Disney for The New York Times

Source: CNBC



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