James Cameron, that old cinematic maverick, is king of the movie world yet again.

After Tuesday’s box office grosses, Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water has now grossed more than $1 billion overseas, making it the only 2022 release to accomplish that feat. And that number doesn’t include its grosses in the U.S., where it has already made over $450 million dollars. All told, the movie is hours away from crossing $1.5 billion worldwide — putting it ever so slightly ahead of 2022’s previous box-office champion, Top Gun: Maverick.

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
20th Century Studios
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Cameron has said that Avatar: The Way of Water would need to be one of the most successful films in history just to turn a profit, and right now it looks like it’s on pace to do just that. After a little over two weeks of release in theaters around the world, the movie is already the 11th biggest film ever. It’s already grossed more money than Frozen IIAvengers: Age of UltronBlack PantherHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It’s only a matter of days before it cracks the all-time worldwide box office top ten, where the number ten spot is currently occupied by Furious 7 and its $1.51 billion. (The original Avatar remains the all-time highest-grossing film ever, with $2.922 billion in earnings across its various theatrical releases.)

While Top Gun: Maverick is going to wind up as 2022’s second-biggest film when all is said and done, it still earned more than $1.48 billion worldwide, vastly exceeding most expectations for the movie’s financial potential. And for now it also remains the biggest domestic hit of 2022. While Avatar has yet to clear $500 million in the U.S., Maverick grossed more than $718 million domestically. The Way of Water may never top that number, even as it continues to attract huge crowds around the world.

Avatar: The Way of Water remains in release in theaters around the world. Top Gun: Maverick is now streaming on Paramount+.

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