'Avatar' director James Cameron and a crew of 55 received special permission to enter New Zealand to film the sequel to his 2009 mega-hit, prompting  anger over double standards
'Avatar' director James Cameron and a crew of 55 received special permission to enter New Zealand to film the sequel to his 2009 mega-hit. AFP / JOEL SAGET


  • "Avatar: The Way of Water" has officially crossed the $1 billion mark
  • The film achieved the feat just 14 days after its worldwide release
  • It's too early to tell if it could beat the original movie's impressive record

"Avatar: The Way of Water" continues to beat expectations as it formally crosses the $1 billion mark at the global box office this week.

The James Cameron-helmed sci-fi blockbuster achieved a new milestone Tuesday when it secured a $1 billion gross globally, just 14 days after its worldwide release, Deadline first reported.

According to the outlet, the "Avatar" sequel now has the bragging rights to being the fastest film to reach the $1 billion mark since 2021's "Spider-Man: No Way Home." It's also the fastest movie to achieve such a feat in 2022 despite the setbacks brought about by the pandemic and the U.S. winter storm over the holiday weekend.

"The Way of Water" is currently the sixth film ever to cross that figure in the first two weeks of its release.

As previously reported, the film that stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana in lead roles was on its way to making $900 million after securing $855.4 million globally during the Christmas weekend.

Holiday moviegoing in North America became very challenging due to the bomb cyclone. The reported overall revenue for Christmas Day was $34.4 million. But the film performed really well elsewhere.

By Tuesday, "The Way of Water" earned an additional $23.8 million in North America and $50.8 million overseas, bringing the domestic total to $317.1 million and global box office total to $712.7 million, for a worldwide record of $1.029 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 20th Century and Disney offering performed impressively in China, with a current gross of $108 million, noted the outlet.

Despite its success, it's still too early to tell if "Avatar 2" would be able to match or surpass the record of its 2009 predecessor, which earned $750 million in the U.S. and over $2.7 billion worldwide throughout its run.

The sequel cost between $350 million and $400 million to make before marketing, so Cameron said it would only be considered a success after crossing the $2 billion mark.

Meanwhile, the esteemed filmmaker recently revealed that he had to cut about 10 minutes of gunplay action from the movie because he wanted to get rid of "ugliness" and find a balance between "light and dark."

Canadian filmmaker James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron pose on the red carpet at the world premiere of 'Avatar: The Way of Water'