Box Office: Avatar re-release hits $30 million worldwide

Although 13 years have passed since Avatar first hit theaters, it seems that moviegoers are still dazzled by the amazing world of Pandora.

In anticipation of the sequel The Way of Water, which premieres in December, Disney has re-released James Cameron’s original scintillating sci-fi epic with promising results. The film grossed $10 million in North America and $20.5 million internationally over the weekend, a tremendous turnout for a film that premiered more than a decade ago, though that film happens to be the highest-grossing worldwide release in the history is. Returning this weekend, Avatar extends its lead as the biggest film of all time at $2.85 billion worldwide.

“We’re talking about a 13-year-old movie that people can watch at home,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst. “The big attraction is the Imax presentation. ‘Avatar’ serves as a reminder of how cool Pandora’s images look on the big screen.”

In North America, “Avatar” ranked third in , behind more recent releases like Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling” ($19.2 million) and the Viola Davis-directed “The Woman King” ($11 million). the box office charts. In terms of recent re-releases, ticket sales for Avatar, which played at 1,980 mostly Imax locations, preceded the re-release of Spider-Man: No Way Home by 85%. The latest Spidey adventure, which returned to theaters months, not years, after its original run, grossed $5.4 million from 3,835 theaters over Labor Day weekend.

Overseas, where the first “Avatar” made over 70% of its money, the remastered version took first place in smaller markets like France ($2.9 million), Italy ($1.5 million), Singapore and Thailand. Other top territories were Germany ($1.3 million), the United Kingdom ($1.3 million), and Korea ($1.3 million).

With Avatar returning to theaters on a random weekend in September without too much publicity, box office viewers are encouraged for Cameron’s long-awaited, mega-budget sequel, which is set to hit the big screen on December 16th.

“Had the re-release underperformed,” said Dergarabedian, “that would be the first indication that – oh oh – there might be a problem [for the sequel.] But that is very encouraging.”

When “Avatar” debuted in 2009, the film grossed a solid but hardly record-breaking $77 million at the domestic box office. Still, the film had unprecedented legs and remained a major draw for months, fueled by exceptional word-of-mouth and many repeat viewings. It held the number one spot for seven consecutive weeks and stayed in the top 10 for over three months before eventually climbing to $760 million in North America. Notably, over 80% of Avatar ticket sales came from 3D and premium formats.

David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research, predicts that “Avatar: The Way of Water” is “certainly going to have a big hit.” But, he adds, in order to replicate the commercial success of Avatar, the sequel must “capture and expand the audience’s imagination, just like the first film did.”

“Based on early materials and trailers,” says Gross, “it looks promising.” Box Office: Avatar re-release hits $30 million worldwide

Charles Jones

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