‘Avatar 2’ Tops $2.1B WW; ‘Pathaan’ Breaks Records For Bollywood; Chinese New Year Success Makes Hope Spring – International Box Office

‘Avatar 2’ Tops $2.1B WW; ‘Pathaan’ Breaks Records For Bollywood; Chinese New Year Success Makes Hope Spring – International Box Office

Refresh for latest…: The global and international box office had a wild weekend this session amid the continued advancement of Avatar: The Way of Water and a mega-comeback for Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan, while China’s Lunar New Year period concluded as the market’s second-best ever.

Taking Avatar: The Way of Water first, it had already scaled up to become the No. 4 highest-grossing global release ever through Friday. Through Sunday, the James Cameron sci-fi adventure has reached an estimated $2.117B. It remains the fourth biggest movie on the worldwide chart, and should top Cameron’s own Titanic in the coming week or so to land at No. 3 (though there is an impending Valentine’s Day rerelease of Titanic afloat).

The international box office through today on WoW is estimated at $1.496B after a $42.4M seventh frame in 52 material markets. That was a drop of just 28% from last session. It remains the No. 4 biggest offshore release ever behind Avatar, Avengers: Endgame and Titanic.

The 20th Century Studios/Disney/Lightstorm sequel has become the highest-grossing film of all time in France, adding to a long list of smaller markets. It is the biggest studio title ever in India and Korea, notably.

In China, as the market exited the Chinese New Year period (see more below), Avatar: The Way of Water experienced a 46% decrease and has now grossed $237.1M.

In IMAX, WoW added $7.3M globally this frame for a worldwide cume of $239M, surpassing Avatar to become IMAX’s biggest first-run release ever.  The overseas cume is $156.1M, the format’s top offshore result ever.

Turning to China, IMAX also enjoyed its best-ever Spring Festival with $34M, topping 2021 by 3% and 2022 by 54%. Grosses were led by The Wandering Earth II at $26.1M making it the third biggest IMAX release of all time during CNY. This was also the first time IMAX has ever had a $25M+ grossing Chinese film and Hollywood film (Way of Water) in Chinese cinemas at the same time.

China’s ushering in of the Year of the Rabbit ended on Friday with an overall estimated RMB 6.725B ($990M+) across the weeklong holiday period, according to Maoyan. This exceeded last year’s Spring Festival, making it the second biggest on record (even with slightly lower ticket prices), and brings encouragement for what’s ahead as the market continues to recover. (Recall that Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is due for a day-and-date release there next month.)

A trio of movies delivered strong grosses and social sentiment, contrary to some previous years where one movie blasts out on day one only to flail afterwards. Zhang Yimou’s suspense comedy Full River Red led all play with RMB 2.6B ($383M) through Friday (it’s at $466M through Sunday and has a 9.6 score on Moayan). Next up was sci-fi sequel The Wandering Earth II with $319M ($377M through Sunday/9.4) and third place when to the latest Boonie Bears installment, Guardian Code at $110M ($136.3M through Sunday/9.3).

Yet, perhaps the biggest surprise came out of India this session as Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan blazed back after a lengthy hiatus from leading roles with action-packed espionage pic Pathaan. The movie has been on a tear, breaking opening day records for a Hindi title and now, through Saturday, grossing 429 crore ($52.6M) globally, including more than $20M from markets outside India. IMAX scored its best start ever for an Indian movie with $2.5M.

Estimates for Sunday have the Yash Raj Films production, which also stars Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, rolling up to upwards of 500 crore ($61.3M) global. In North America, it is estimated to be the biggest Bollywood opening weekend of all time while it has also set records in the UK. Note that Indian box office is not centralized and comes with a special set of challenges; we will update soonest.