Avatar: The Way of Water crosses $2 billion at the box office

Avatar: The Way of Water has picked up a Best Picture nod at the 2023 Oscar nominations and it's also shattering box office records. James Cameron's epic Pandora-set sequel has officially crossed the $2 billion mark, making it the highest-grossing movie released since the onset of the pandemic.

The Avatar sequel has repeated the trick of its 2009 predecessor, starting off relatively small and steadily gathering a wave of hype. The expansiveness of Cameron's vision demands the big screen experience and is further emboldened by the choice of viewing formats including IMAX, 4DX and ScreenX, which lend extra scope and majesty to the pioneering visual effects work.

Cameron has said that the future of the Avatar franchise is conditional on Avatar: The Way of Water's success. With the box office now locked in, Cameron can officially move on with Avatar 3, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5. (He's also hinted that Avatar 6 and 7 may be on the horizon.)

Overall, it's the third time Cameron has pulled off a seemingly impossible trick. At the end of 1997, Titanic (re-released this February for its 25th anniversary) was dismissed as an expensive folly but it then became the highest-grossing movie of all time with more than $1 billion in the bank (the first movie to achieve such a goal). With re-releases, Titanic now sits at $2.1 billion globally, just shy of Marvel's Avengers: Endgame.

Cameron's very own Avatar toppled Titanic to eventually take $2.922 billion globally (this includes re-releases). Avatar is still the highest-grossing movie of all time, having been briefly troubled by Avengers: Endgame, and we're now anticipating where Avatar: The Way of Water will end up.

Avatar: The Way of Water now has Avengers: Infinity War in its sights ($2.048 billion total) and then Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($2.068 billion). It stands to overtake both but Avengers: Endgame will be even more of a stiff challenge with its global total of $2.797 billion.

Depending on where Avatar: The Way of Water lands, Cameron could have the three highest-grossing movies of all time under his belt. The king of the world? Forget Leo DiCaprio – the filmmaker still has it in spades.

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