Half the US is sick with not-COVID, the other half is under three feet of snow, and anyone left out is now too poor to go to the movies because of inflation still trending at over 7%. So as a result the Christmas weekend box office take is looking truly, staggeringly terrible. It is on track to be the worst for twenty years.

Avatar

James Cameron’s sci-fi sequel Avatar: The Way of Water is showing the same, ominous, slow yet steady progress of its predecessor with another $56 million on just Saturday and Sunday. By the time Friday and Monday are added estimates point to $82 million. This takes the domestic total to $278 million with another $601 million internationally. Analysts say it is on track to become only the 3rd billion dollar-grosser of the year alongside Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World: Dominion.

Outside the space smurfs, the rest of the box office didn’t fare too well.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is heading for second spot with a $17.7 million estimate. This will sit it at $24.6 million domestically and $32.5 million internationally. The Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody is set for just $8 million. Audiences seem to love it, with high scores across the board, but critics have savaged it.

Damien Chazelle’s Babylon is officially a bomb. The $80 million feature limped to estimates of just $5.3 million. A 189-minute runtime, mixed reviews and cold audience scores will seal its fate.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has taken seven weeks to cross $800 million globally, rounding out a dismal picture, and not so happy holidays, for theatres.

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