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‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ tops first box office of 2023

Avatar: The Way of Water kept Puss in Boots in galoshes as first No. 1 movie of 2023

Na’vi ruled and cats drooled at the weekend box office with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever holding onto third place.

Lester Fabian Brathwaite

It certainly is a happy new year for James Cameron and his blue brotherhood as Avatar: The Way of Water topped the box office for the third week in a row.

The sequel to the highest grossing movie of all time is doing some pretty decent numbers for itself, pulling in, per Comscore, an estimated $63.4 million over the weekend, taking its domestic cume to $421.5 million. That brings it within $16 million of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s cume so far of $437.9 million over eight weeks.

Avatar The Way of Water

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’

| Credit: 20th Century Studios

Globally, The Way of Water grossed another $186.7 million, for an international cume of $957 million, making it the highest grossing international release of 2022 and the second highest grossing international release since the start of the pandemic. Cameron’s blockbuster had already surpassed the worldwide billion dollar mark last week, putting its current total at $1.38 billion.

In its second week of release, Universal’s Puss In Boots: The Last Wish earned $16.3 million, bringing its domestic gross to $60.7 million ($129.5 million worldwide). The third sequel in the box office top three, Wakanda Forever added another $4.8 million this weekend, and $7.4 million internationally, for a worldwide cume of $818.4 million.

Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) in DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, directed by Joel Crawford.

‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’

| Credit: DreamWorks Animation

The musical biopic Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody came in fourth with $4.2 million and a domestic gross of $14.8 million; internationally it fared a bit better, snagging $8.3 million, which brings its global total to $27.9 million. Rounding out the top five movies of the new year is Damien Chazelle‘s star-studded ode to Old Hollywood, Babylon, which took in $2.7 million, for a domestic total of just $10.1 million.

Notably, no new movies opened in the top 10 at this weekend’s box office, though A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks opened in four theaters in New York and L.A. and the buzzed-about dancing doll-from-hell horror film M3GAN opened internationally in France, Mexico, and Belgium, scaring up $3.3 million.

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