‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’ Scores 2nd Best Wednesday Of 2022; ‘Puss In Boots: The Last Wish’ Has $3.2M First Day Box Office
20th Century Studios/Disney’s Avatar: The Way of Water made $14.3M yesterday at 4,202 theaters, ranking it as the second best Wednesday of 2022 after Top Gun: Maverick‘s $14.8M on June 1. Avatar 2‘s first Wednesday also outstripped that of Minions: Rise of Gru ($13.5M, July 6) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s first and second Wednesdays ($8.1M Nov 16 and $10M on Nov. 23).
What’s interesting here is that from Sunday through midweek, Avatar 2 is playing like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; yesterday not that far from the Lucasfilm prequel’s $14.96M Wednesday. That said, Avatar: The Way of Water at $183M through six days is pacing 11% behind Rogue One in its domestic running total. Avatar 2 hopes to make $90M-$95M in its second 4-day weekend which has Christmas falling on Sunday.
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Universal also debuted Dreamworks Animation’s sequel Puss in Boots: The Last Wish to $3.2M at 4,093 theaters in second place for the day. There weren’t any Tuesday previews, so consider this run before Christmas to essentially be previews. The Joel Crawford directed, and Januel Mercado co-directed movie received an A CinemaScore, a notch up from the A- of the first 2011 movie which opened over the final weekend of October. That’s typically a death zone at the box office, however, Puss in Boots opened to a robust $34M. While Puss in Boots 2 is under the first pre-Christmas Wednesday opening of Sing 2 which did $8.1M before a 5-day of $39.6M, realize we’re still in a corridor where audiences’ moviegoing is being sidelined by holiday activities. All of this changes on Christmas Day Sunday for the better. Universal is looking at a long run here for Puss in Boots 2. The studio rode out Sing 2 all the way to the first weekend of April in north of 2,000 theaters. Throughout every weekend in March, Sing 2 was grossing over $1M every weekend late in its run. Impressive. Final domestic was $162.8M.
Third place yesterday belonged to Wakanda Forever with $902K for a running total of $421.7M at 3,200 in the midst of week 6.
Fourth was Universal’s Violent Night at 3,528 theaters with an estimated $839K and a running total in the middle of week 3 of $37.6M.
Fifth saw A24’s wide expansion of The Whale from 6 theaters to 603. The movie, which is rebounding Brendan Fraser’s career and has The Mummy actor as an awards Best Actor frontrunner, did $682,5K for a running total in day 13 of $1.28M.
Babylon starts previews today at 3PM, and will hopefully break double digit millions over 3 days off 60% fresh Rotten Tomatoes reviews. There’s also TriStar/Black Label’s Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which begins previews at 2PM today with an eye on $12M through four days. Critics gave the movie 41% rotten.
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