Avatar: The Way Of Water has had it’s doubters, many of them among our Outposters. We all wondered if there was any appetite for the mega-sequel given the long wait, high costs and apparent lack of buzz.

“But wait!” others of you said. Wait and watch, and don’t forget how the first Avatar did its business and the sheer power of the overseas box-office these days.

Signs were there, when it went about a slow and steady accumulation of receipts and passing the $1 billion mark globally in two weeks. This past weekend the almost unthinkable and unheard of happened as its box office take actually went up on the previous weekend by 6%. That almost never happens.

Some of us may have to eat a great big slice of humble pie soon.

Not that Humble Pie, that looks like it smells funny.

Garth Franklin over at Dark Horizons has published some analysis of his own. As an OG industry watcher who has been reporting on this stuff since most of us first got an internet connection, Franklin’s views are worth listening to. He says the movie could well already be in profit.

Cameron mentioned a $2 billion break-even point in a passing comment, but that was an arbitrary number. Commentators have latched onto it. Digging a little deeper, however, Garth has a different view.

He says $2 billion is way above the standard measure for profitability that analysts use. A finger in the air figure is three times the production budget to reach profit. This is taking production costs, adding on 50% for marketing costs and then double that total amount as exhibitors will take roughly half, on average, world-wide.


Avatar: The Way of Water has no confirmed production budget. It is difficult to pinpoint as the filming has included all of this sequel, plus a lot of Avatar 3 scenes, and even some of Avatar 4. However estimates range from $350-460 million.

So according to Garth’s calculator, even the upper estimate works out at $1.38 billion as the profit point. Last night, with figures from the New Year weekend coming in, Avatar: The Way Of Water blew through that. It is not showing huge drop off and there is no serious blockbuster competition on the horizon until February 17th 2023 when Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania drops from the MCU.

Variety are now seemingly confirming this analysis, with a figure of $1.4 billion in their reports on the same. The movie is should pass $1 billion internationally this week.

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