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The Way of Water is now the highest-grossing film of 2022

The Way of Water is now the highest-grossing film of 2022

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The Way of Water has cracked the top 10 highest-grossing films of all time. Image: Disney

In Avatar: The Way of Water, humans from Earth hunt down the Na’vi of Pandora as part of a larger plan to take over their planet. But here on Earth, the Na’vi have officially won the war.

James Cameron’s sequel will follow on Wednesday has grossed $1.51 billion worldwide, which surpasses the $1.49 billion Top Gun: Maverick that grossed earlier this year. This means Avatar: The Way of Water is now the highest-grossing film of 2022 globally. Domestically it’s a different story; Maverick is still sitting comfortably at the top of the mountain, over $260 million ahead. (Maverick is at $718 million domestically, Way of Water at $454 million as of Wednesday). To put that in perspective, this is a full The Amazing Spider-Man.

But Avatar was never just a domestic franchise. The original film, which still grossed an impressive $785 million domestically (good for fourth place all-time), grossed more than triple that internationally, totaling almost $3 billion worldwide. So that Maverick, a film with strong American roots, has been topped internationally is no real surprise. What is surprising is that it happened so quickly. The Way of Water has been in cinemas for a total of almost three weeks. It still has weeks, probably months, to play in theaters and hit those numbers. We are dealing with a real blockbuster.

So where can it go from here? Passing Top Gun: Maverick at the worldwide box office takes it to No. 10 all-time. All-time number nine, The Avengers, is only dollars ahead, so it should hit that in just a few hours if it hasn’t already. So we consider The Way of Water the ninth highest-grossing film of all time. Eighth place, 2019 Lion King is next on the list at $1.66 billion, and seventh place, Jurassic World, is right at the top with $1.67 billion. Then the next big milestone is number six, which is Spider-Man: No Way Home. That’s $1.91 billion, and if The Way of Water hits that, $2 billion isn’t far behind. Only five films have ever grossed over $2 billion: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Titanic and Avatar. And of those five, two will be directed by James Cameron.

And yes, because someone always mentions it, none of this is adjusted for inflation.

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