Avatar: The Way of Water has surpassed $2 billion in ticket sales worldwide after spending a sixth straight weekend at the top of the box office in the United States (the first film to do so since… 2009’s Avatar).
The Way of Water joins Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Avengers: Infinity War as the only movies to gross over $2 billion globally. That’s a lot of James Cameron, but it’s even more Zoe Saldana.
The actress appears in four of the six highest-grossing movies of all-time, thanks to her roles as Neytiri in the Avatar franchise and Gamora in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That puts her fourth on the list of the highest-grossing lead performers, behind only Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., and Samuel L. Jackson (the only non-MCU stars in the top 10: the Toms, Cruise and Hanks). As long as Cameron keeps making Avatar sequels, which he will, Saldana will eventually dethrone Johansson:
So far, The Way of Water has generated $598 million at the domestic box office and $1.4 billion internationally. Overseas, the standout markets are China ($229 million), France ($129 million), Germany ($117 million), Korea ($96 million), and the United Kingdom ($81 million). It’s especially impressive that Avatar 2 managed to crack $2 billion, a benchmark that’s been impossible in COVID times, because not every market is re-connecting with the Na’vi. The follow-up isn’t playing in Russia, where the original grossed $116 million, and it’s flopping in Japan with $28 million, a dramatic decrease from the first film’s $176 million haul.
Never bet against James Cameron — or Zoe Saldana.