It’s beginning to look like a bad idea to leave the house across much of the country, as winter storms and severe cold sweep the U.S., wreaking havoc on holiday travel and leaving nearly 1.5 million customers without power (according to poweroutages.us).
Nevertheless, folks are finding their way to their local movie house, and Avatar: The Way of Water has the numbers to prove it. Going into Christmas weekend, the sequel to James Cameron’s groundbreaking megahit is due to pass $200 million in the U.S. & Canada today (Friday, December 23), eight days into its release following a $134M domestic opening. With Cameron reportedly claiming the flick needs $2 billion to break even, the sci-fi adventure stands at $609.8M worldwide.
This Christmas weekend box office will likely fall below last year’s $144M (though probably not as low as the double digit returns earlier this month), but Avatar: TWOW is sure to take the lion’s share for 20th Century Studios.
Of the several new titles opening stateside this week, the animated heroics of DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Universal Pictures) have Antonio Banderas’ guapo gatito chasing Na’vi tail in the second place domestic slot. The Shrek spin-off sequel directed by Joel Crawford (The Croods: A New Age) and co-director Januel Mercado opened Wednesday at No. 2 with $3.2M and added another $2.9M in its second day, totting up $6.1M at 4,099 theaters ahead of the holiday weekend.
Per BoxOfficeMojo, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Marvel/Disney) is holding on at No. 3 after being bumped by Puss, adding $898K in its 41st day of release (domestic total: $421.8M). Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Strange World is also hanging on in the Top 10 despite a lackluster Thanksgiving start, slipping from No. 4 to No. 8 with a new animated arrival. The film has dug out $35M ($61.8M worldwide).
[Sources: Deadline, BoxOfficeMojo, PowerOutages.us]