Box office: “Avatar 2” stays on top, and above Otto, “Airplane” slots

Avatar: Water RoadIt continues to draw crowds at the domestic box office, and maintains a solid lead against the competition as it looks to maintain the top spot in its fifth weekend.

Disney and 20th Century Studios added $7 million from 4,035 locations on Friday, boosting its domestic total to $538.8 million. The film is looking to add to nearly $36 million over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. For the three-day window ending on Sunday, “Avatar 2” is projecting a decline of approximately 36% from last weekend.

“The Way of Water” certainly doesn’t display the kind of super staying power as its predecessor did: James Cameron’s 2009 holiday release fueled the word-of-mouth wave with a series of week-to-week dips in January that never swelled past 27 %. However, “The Way of Water” is currently outpacing its previous entry, with a total of $538 million that tops the nearly $500 million that the first “Avatar” raked in on MLK’s opening weekend in 2010.

The Way of Water is currently the 14th highest-grossing film of all time at the domestic box office, with 2019’s The Lion King ($543 million) and 2018’s Incredibles 2 ($608 million) as the next releases to pass on the record books. The science fiction sequel is the seventh-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide, with a worldwide total of $1.7 billion and growing. With continued box office dominance and no high-profile competition in the offing, “The Way of Water” has a chance to become the first film to reach $2 billion worldwide since the start of the COVID pandemic.

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But “Avatar” isn’t the only movie showing signs of strength at the domestic box office. world horror comedyM3GANIn second place is $20 million expected over four days of the holiday. That’s a very strong hold for Blumhouse’s production The Atomic Monster, which debuted with a staggering $30 million this past weekend. Buzz is still strong about the movie, though. As the audience continues to line up to meet the dancing killer doll.

Aside from those suspense, the box office has seen a raft of new releases to the tune of eyeballs. The strongest company is Sony and Columbia Pictures.A man called Otto,” which is expanding widely this weekend, adding more than 3,000 theaters after starting with a limited release over the holidays. The Tom Hanks drama looks set to land in third place, with an expected $14.9 million over four days to boost its domestic total to 21. $1 million.This is a very strong figure for an original adult-oriented drama during the COVID era.Critics have positively relied on the film, but viewers have proven to be more receptive to the film.

Lionsgate’s “Airplane” is projected to take fifth place, raking in $3.5 million on its opening day from 3,023 locations. The film, helmed by trustworthy action star Gerard Butler, is expected to fetch up to $10 million over the four-day holiday period.

Warner Bros. “House Party” probably opened outside the top five. Initially produced for its first live broadcast on HBO Max, the studio has pivoted to a modest, large-scale release across 1,350 locations. The comedy remake is projecting an opening of under $5 million across the four-day frame, not exactly an impact at the box office.

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Universal’s “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” appears to be at No. 4 on the domestic charts, with $16 million expected for four days of the holiday. For the three-day frame, that’s a slight 8% decrease from last weekend. DreamWorks’ “Shrek,” already available for purchase on digital platforms, has emerged as the rare family movie that’s a solid box office hit in the era of the pandemic. Now in its fourth weekend, the film will pass the $100 million domestic mark on Saturday. The worldwide total is currently $206 million.

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