How Avatar: The Way of Water Became the 6th Movie in History to Make $2 Billion

After being in theaters for just over a month, Avatar: The Way of Water—the long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 hit—has officially grossed over $2.024 billion. It took

over Spider-Man: No Way Home’s spot as the sixth highest-grossing movie of all time last week; to move up to the No. 5 spot, currently held by Avengers: Infinity War, it needs to

make over $2.05 billion. Now it has become the first ever pandemic-era movie to hit the $2 billion mark and Cameron’s third movie to gross that much in box office receipts. He’s

the only director in history to have three movies gross over $2 billion. After 13 years in the making, all eyes were on the Avatar sequel to see if it would make its budget

back and turn a profit for Disney. (Disney spent a reported $460 million to create and promote the movie, according to Variety.) Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the

box office has experienced major struggles, causing widespread concern and even bankruptcies in the theater industry. Then last year’s Top Gun: Maverick seemed to re-energize

moviegoers, proving that the theater industry was far from dead. The Tom Cruise-led film grossed over $1.489 billion in 2022 and seemed to be the uncontested, almost sole reason

for movie-going’s resurgence—that was, until Avatar: The Way of Water swept in to make $1.5 billion at the end of 2022 and take its spot as the highest grossing movie of last

year.