Avatar: The Way of Water pushed ahead at the box office, beating out Titanic, which was also written and directed by James Cameron. Can The Way of Water gross enough at the box office to take the crown from Avatar and Avengers: Endgame, which are currently in the top two positions? The Way of Water opened in theaters December 16, 2022 and was number one at the box office for several weeks — until it was usurped by M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin and, a couple of weeks later, by Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest entry.


It says a lot that Cameron holds quite a few slots in the rankings for highest-grossing movies of all time. And with Avatar: The Way of Water having ousted Titanic from its third-place spot, the sequel inches its way closer to the top. Avatar is still clinging to the top spot, while the MCU’s Avengers: Endgame trails behind in second. But how close is it to reaching the top spot? Will it ever make it there, or will Avatar continue reigning supreme at number one? The Way of the Water is doing incredibly well at the box office, but there are obstacles if it aims to beat out Endgame and the original film.

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How Close The Way Of Water’s Box Office Is To Endgame & Avatar

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As of this writing, Avatar: The Way of Water has grossed $2.24 billion globally, but it’s still a ways off from Avengers: Endgame or Avatar’s worldwide amounts. The Way of Water is approximately $554 million away from reaching Endgame, which has a total gross of about $2.8 billion. Meanwhile, The Way of Water remains even farther behind Avatar, with $678 million between them, with Avatar having grossed $2.9 billion worldwide. It’s been at number one for a long time, and it’s rather incredible that the sequel is trailing not too far behind on the overall chart of top-grossing films of all time.

The Way Of Water’s Box Office Likely Won’t Beat Endgame Or Avatar

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While The Way of Water has done quite well at the global box office, it probably won’t surpass either Avengers: Endgame or its predecessor. It’s still making money in theaters, but its gains have tapered off a bit due to other big movies releasing in theaters. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania raked in $120 million in its opening weekend alone. The Way of Water still made a good amount over the same weekend, grossing $7.89 million domestically, but Cameron’s Avatar sequel is beginning to trail behind, losing some of the momentum that it had in its first few weeks at the box office.

With more big movies releasing over the next few weeks and months, including Scream VI and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Way of Water will fall behind. With movie-goers’ attention elsewhere, it’s more difficult for The Way of Water to bridge the gap between Endgame and Avatar. The Way of Water will be out of theaters soon, which halts its global earnings, leaving it firmly in third place — at least for now. If Cameron’s sequel gets a re-release in theaters (like Titanic and Avatar), it could make enough money to inch closer to the top, but it’s hard to say whether it would make enough to surpass either of the top two movies.

How Much Will The Way Of Water Ultimately Make?

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The theatrical release window has narrowed to 45 days, but Avatar: The Way of Water will likely continue playing in theaters — on more limited screens, though, since newer releases will take precedence — for a while longer, especially as it keeps making money. While it’s box office progress has slowed down a bit, if The Way of Water remains in theaters for the next five weeks, and grosses approximately $8 million each week (it’s dropped to $10 million as of President’s Day weekend), it could end its theatrical run with $2.28 billion, adding approximately $40 million to its gross.

Related: The Way Of Water: The Real Reason Avatar 2 Took So Long

At the higher end of the spectrum, The Way of Water could reach $2.3 or $2.4 billion, but that’s optimistic. According to Variety, The Way of Water broke even when it surpassed the $2.05-$2.08 billion mark. Regardless of how it will continue making at the box office before it leaves theaters, Avatar 2 will still be behind Endgame and Avatar, though it’s impressive it managed to surpass Titanic. All told, this ultimately bodes well for Cameron’s planned sequels; The Way of Water’s box office success shows that audiences are still interested in what’s happening on Pandora and will more than likely return to theaters to see them.

Could Avatar 3, 4 Or 5 Beat Endgame & Avatar?

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Considering Avatar: The Way of Water couldn’t knock Avengers: Endgame or Avatar out of their top box office positions, it’s doubtful that any of Cameron’s three Avatar sequels will. On the other hand, there will be less of a wait for the three sequels, which could boost its box office numbers, but it could also be the case of diminishing returns. The anticipation was high for The Way of Water precisely because it took 13 years to finally be released in theaters. It’s an advantage Avatar 3, 4 and 5 won’t benefit from.

As an example, Star Wars: The Force Awakens remains the highest-grossing film in the new trilogy (and number five on the top-grossing movies of all time). Whereas The Last Jedi falls behind to number 17, with The Rise of Skywalker at 35. It’s possible the same will happen with the Avatar sequels. Over time, viewers may become less interested in the story, or in heading to theaters to see the films, instead waiting for it to land on streaming.

To be sure, Cameron’s remaining Avatar sequels will go on to make a lot of money — audiences are invested enough in Pandora and in Jake and Neytiri’s journeys. Plus, the visuals will only get better with time, as Cameron has proven he’s the man to beat on that front. However, it’s unlikely they will beat Endgame or Avatar for the top spots. The former was the ending to the first three phases of the MCU; the latter was innovative and visually unique. They may not even surpass Avatar: The Way of Water in third place. Still, there’s always room for surprises, but only time will tell how the Avatar sequels will fare.

More: 2023’s Huge Box Office Recovery Isn’t Just Because of Avatar 2

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