Avatar: The Last Airbender topped the domestic box office charts for a seventh consecutive weekend with an additional $15.7 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
It was a quiet weekend overall, notable mostly for Hindi-language blockbuster ‘Pathaan’ breaking into the top five and re-releases after Oscar nominations of films like ‘All Everywhere and At Once’ and ‘The Fabelmans’.
Avatar 2’s No. 1 spot in North America is tied only with the first Avatar, and in the past 25 years it’s been surpassed by Titanic (which stayed at No. 1 for 15 weeks). All three were directed by James Cameron.
Globally, “Water Road” has already earned an estimated $2.1 billion, overtaking “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to become the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time (of which Cameron directed three).
Second place went to Universal and DreamWorks’ family-oriented offering Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which made $10.6 million in its sixth weekend. The animated spinoff has grossed over $140.8 million in North America and was recently made available to stream at home as well.
Third place went to Sony’s “A Man Called Otto” with $6.8 million from 3,957 locations. The Indian film Pathaan, starring Shah Rukh Kha in his first role in five years, took fourth place.
And meme-able horror “M3GAN,” a Universal release, rounded out the top five with $6.4 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its total to $82.3 million.
Neon also debuted horror film Infinity Pool, written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg and starring Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgård, at 1,853 locations following its Sundance debut. The romantic comedy “Maybe I Do,” starring Diane Keaton, Richard Gere and Susan Sarandan, earned $562,000 from 465 screens. And Lucas Dont’s Cannes-winning children’s drama Close opened on four screens in New York and Los Angeles, earning $68,143.
Many studios boasting Best Picture nominations also chose to capitalize on the buzz from Tuesday’s Oscar nominations with significant re-releases. “Everything Everywhere and At Once,” which received a leading 11 nominations, returned to theaters on 1,400 screens, where it earned another $1 million. The A24 release has made $71 million domestically so far. Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” nominated for seven Oscars, also expanded to 1,962 screens in North America and grossed an additional $760,000, bringing its total to $16 million domestically. And Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking” also added a few hundred screens, taking in $1 million over the weekend. He has made $2.4 million so far. The Oscars surge could continue in the coming weeks — the show isn’t until March 12.
Several of the weekend’s highest-profile releases were star-studded comedies that went straight to streaming: Netflix had “You People” with Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jonah Hill and Lauren London, and Amazon Prime Video offered “Shotgun Wedding “ ”, with Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Coolidge.
Seven weekends after Avatar 2, theater owners are probably also looking for the next big blockbuster, which is still a long way off. “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” doesn’t hit theaters until February 17.
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