‘Avatar 2’ Poised To Overtake ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Among Top Grossing U.S. Pics Of All-Time – Box Office Saturday

‘Avatar 2’ Poised To Overtake ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Among Top Grossing U.S. Pics Of All-Time – Box Office Saturday

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Coming out of this weekend, by mid-week, Disney/20th Century Studios/Lightstorm’s Avatar: The Way of Water will easily surpass The Avengers as the No. 10 highest grossing movie ever in U.S./Canada with $623.3M. The James Cameron directed pic is expected to gross between $14M-$16M for a seventh straight No. 1 weekend streak. Avatar 2‘s seven-weekend run at No. 1 ties with the original Avatar and the Henry Fonda-Katherine Hepburn multi-Oscar-winning movie On Golden Pond.

By the end of this weekend, on the high-end, Avatar at $620.9M looks to fly past Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s domestic take of $620.1M as the 11th highest grossing movie of all-time in U.S./Canada. With a worldwide take now of $2.074 billion, Avatar 2 is the 4th highest global release of all-time having passed Force Awakens’ $2.07 billion, putting Cameron with the top three of the of top 4 movies of all-time: Avatar No. 1 ($2.9 billion), Titanic No. 3 ($2.19 billion) and Way of Water No. 4. Avengers: Endgame is No. 2 worldwide with $2.799B.

Among all the Oscar nominated Best Pictures this year, the 4x nominated Avatar 2 is the only movie expected to make buckets of money heading into Oscar night on March 12 — and that’s really all organic given its blockbuster momentum. Avatar 2 still has all its Imax and a big chunk of PLF. I hear they cede their Dolby screens to Universal’s Knock at the Cabin next weekend, that movie hopefully providing a little lift to the sleepy winter box office with a $17M-$20M start. The domestic box office for 2023 goes into overdrive starting Presidents Day weekend with the $120M 4-day start of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

With no major studio wide theatrical releases this weekend, all films are looking at around a $71.2M take, which is up a great +103% from a year ago when the marketplace was shackled by Omicron, all titles grossing $35M.

Among those distributors and pics taking advantage of a frame where there aren’t any new major studio titles:

Yash Raj’s Indian spy pic Pathaan from Siddharth Anand looks to open to $5.75M at 694 locations in 162 markets. The movie in Hindi, Tamil, & Telugu had a Wednesday start and should file $8.4M by Sunday. Movie saw pretty strong numbers in Toronto, NYC, Chicago, Dallas, Vancouver, San Francisco and Seattle. The movie follows an Indian spy who takes on the leader of a group of mercenaries, they having nefarious plans to target his homeland.

Brandon Cronenberg's Infinity Pool.
Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool. Neon

NEON’s Sundance midnight premiere Infinity Pool from Brandon Cronenberg is eyeing a $3M opening at 1,835 theaters. While the Sundance director’s cut was NC-17 with scenes of orgies, breastfeeding, and several scenes to make one blush, the theatrical cut is R. That $3M start is better than Papa David Cronenberg’s $1.1M opening this past summer for his Cannes premiere Crimes of the Future, also from NEON, and it’s better than that pic’s lifetime domestic of $2.4M.

Though 88% fresh among critics, the Alexander Skarsgard, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman movie got a C- Cinemascore with audiences and 52% among Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak audiences who gave it a lowly 28% recommend. Mostly guys here at 60% and 67% between 18-34. Diversity demos were 57% Caucasian, 24% Latino and Hispanic, 11% Asian/other and 8% Black. The movie did its business on the coasts where nine of the top ten theaters are. Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin ranked no. 7. I’m told ticket sales dropped off the deeper one looked into the best markets of NYC, LA, Chicago, Dallas, and Philly.

Fathom Events’ Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist from Kevin Sorbo is looking at $2.3M at 1,362 theaters. The movie played the Faith-based belt of South and Mid-West where eight of the top ten runs came from. The only LA theater to make the list was Burbank. Logline: The only light after the world falls into chaos is a charming new leader who rises to the head of the UN, but does he bring hope for a better future? Or is it the end of the world?

WellGoUSA’s release of Chinese sequel Wandering Earth II in 61 markets had solid numbers in NYC, LA, Boston, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver with $1.3M. The movie cracked close to $70M in its opening over the Lunar New Year last weekend. The movie has amassed over $352M in China in its first week. Wow.

Billie Eilish Live at The O2 coming to theaters.
Billie Eilish performs on stage during her Happier Than Ever World Tour, at The O2 Arena on June 10, 2022 in London, England. Getty

Trafalgar’s release of Billie Eilish: Live at the 02 is around the same amount with $1.29M-$1.3M at 600 locations in 143 markets. The movie delivered both inside and outside big cities.

  1. Avatar 2 (Dis) 3,600 (-190) theaters Fri $3.57M (-24%), 3-day $14M-$16M (-20% high end), Total $620.9M/Wk

2. Puss in Boots 2 (Uni) 3,452 (-159) theaters Fri $2.4 (-13%), 3-day $10.5M (-11%), Total $140.7M/Wk 6

3.) A Man Called Otto (Sony) 3,957 (+155) theaters, Fri $1.95M, 3 day $6.3M (-28%), Total $45.6M, Wk 5

4.) M3GAN (Uni/Blum) 3,416 (-212) theaters, Fri $1.63M (-39%), 3 day $6M (-38%), Total $81.9M/Wk 4

5.) Pathaan (Yash) 694 theaters, Fri $1.87M, 3-day $5.75M, Total $8.4M/Wk 1

6.) Missing (Sony) 3,025 theaters Fri $1.55M (-54%), 3-day $5.075M (-45%), Total $16.9M/Wk 2

7.) Plane (LG) Fri $1.06M (-32%), 3 day $3.5M (-33%), Total $25M/Wk 3

8.) Infinity Pool (NEON) 1,835 theaters Fri $1.1M, 3-day $3M/Wk 1

9.) Left Behind: Rise…(FATH) 1,362 theaters, Fri $1.3M, 3day $2.3M/Wk 1

10.) Wandering Earth II (Well) 160 theaters, Fri $372K, 3-day $1.3M/Wk 1

11.) Billie Eilish (Traf) 600 Fri $1.29M-$1.3M, 3-day $1.29M-$1.3M/Wk 1