Maverick Holds Off Avatar 2 To Be 2022’s Highest Grossing Movie, But Lost Out On The International Title



Top Gun: Maverick has held off Avatar: The Way of Water’s late challenge to be the highest-grossing movie of 2022.

20th Century Studios/Paramount Pictures

Avatar: The Way of Water attempted to become the highest-grossing movie of 2022, but a late release and the potential impact of severe winter weather prevented it from overtaking the mighty Top Gun: Maverick. Although there is little doubt that James Cameron’s epic will pass the total box office of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun sequel in the coming days, it has not done it quickly enough to snatch the #1 spot away from the surprise hit of the year. According to Box Office Mojo, Top Gun: Maverick’s $1.49 billion has been enough to see off the $1.4 billion challenge of Avatar: The Way of Water.

That doesn’t mean that Top Gun: Maverick has completely dominated the charts, as Avatar: The Way of Water did manage to beat its competition in the international market. While the Avatar sequel ended the year around $90 million short of taking the worldwide title, the overseas performance saw Avatar: The Way of Water take just under $957 million internationally against Top Gun: Maverick’s $770 million.

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When it comes to the domestic box office, Avatar: The Way of Water has had a few hurdles in its way. Having only opened on Dec. 16, the film had just over two weeks to make what it took Top Gun: Maverick 30 days to do in the summer. The powerful performance of the movie has been proven in the fact that in roughly half the time, the film came within just a whisker of snatching the top spot at the last minute. While many believe that Top Gun: Maverick could have been toppled by Avatar: The Way of Water if severe winter weather had not set in, in the end, there are other factors, such as the lower-than-expected opening weekend and its performance in China not quite matching expectations that also contributed. The fact is that Top Gun: Maverick managed to outmaneuver every challenge to retain its title as the highest-grossing movie of 2022.

Related: James Cameron Says He Will ‘Mourn’ the Movies He Cannot Make Due to Telling Avatar’s Story

Avatar: The Way of Water is On Track To Hit $2 Billion

20th Century Fox

Despite the pre-release jitters over whether anyone cared about the Avatar franchise enough to make the film’s monstrous budget worthwhile, since its release James Cameron’s second of five planned Avatar movies has shot up charts around the world. With reports suggesting that anything less than a $2 billion box office would be seen as something of a failure, there is now little doubt that the coming weeks will see the film easily break that milestone. How high up the ladder of all-time highest-grossing movies it can climb is something that we can only watch and wait to find out.

After less than three weeks of release, Avatar: The Way of Water is sitting at 14th on the all-time chart. The real question is whether the film has the momentum to bother the movies at the top of the chart, a list that includes the original Avatar. While the $2.9 billion haul of Avatar, and even the $2.8 billion of Avengers: Endgame are most likely safe in their respective 1st and 2nd position, James Cameron’s other big hitter Titanic, with $2.2 billion, could be the target for Avatar: The Way of Water to aim for. Whatever happens, James Cameron’s future plans for Avatar sequels are as good as guaranteed as long as it continues to bring in this kind of revenue.

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