Box Office: ‘Avatar 2’ Remains Top, Above ‘Otto’, ‘Airplane’ Openings

“Avatar: The Way of Water” continues to draw audiences at the domestic box office and maintains a substantial competitive edge as it looks to hold the No. 1 spot for a fifth weekend.

The sci-fi hit from Disney and 20th Century Studios added $7 million from 4,035 locations on Friday, bringing its total domestic total to an impressive $538.8 million. The movie is looking to add about $36 million during the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. For the three-day frame ending Sunday, “Avatar 2” expects to drop about 36% from last weekend.

“The Way of Water” certainly doesn’t deliver the kind of superlative staying power that its predecessor did: James Cameron’s 2009 holiday release rode the word-of-mouth wave with a series of week-to-week drops in January that never exploded. over 27%. However, “The Way of Water” currently surpasses its previous entry, with a total of $538 million that outweighs the roughly $500 million the first “Avatar” collected over the 2010 MLK weekend.

“The Way of Water” currently ranks as the 14th highest-grossing film of all time at the domestic box office, with 2019’s “The Lion King” ($543 million) and 2018’s “Incredibles 2” ($608 million) being the next releases. pass in the record books. The sci-fi sequel is the seventh-highest-grossing movie in the world ever, with a worldwide total of $1.7 billion and growing. With continued box office dominance and no high-profile competition on the immediate horizon, “The Way of Water” has a shot at becoming the first film to make $2 billion worldwide since the start of the COVID pandemic.

However, “Avatar” isn’t the only movie showing signs of strength at the domestic box office. Universal’s horror-comedy “M3GAN” appears to be in second place, projecting $20 million over the four-day holiday period. That’s a very solid footing for Blumhouse and Atomic Monster’s production, which debuted last weekend for an impressive $30 million. Buzz stays strong around the movie, as audiences continue to line up to meet that dancing, deadly puppet.

Aside from those leftovers, the box office saw a group of new releases that caused eyeballs. Leading the pack is “A Man Called Otto” from Sony and Columbia Pictures, which is expanding widely this weekend, adding more than 3,000 theaters after beginning a limited release over the holiday season. The Tom Hanks dramedy looks set to finish in third place, expecting $14.9 million in revenue over the four-day frame to boost its domestic total to $21 million. That’s a very solid number for an adult-oriented original drama during the COVID era. Critics were positive about the film, but audiences seem to be much more receptive.

Lionsgate’s thriller “Plane,” which predicted a fifth-place finish, took in an opening day $3.5 million from 3,023 venues. Carried by reliable action star Gerard Butler, the film projects a $10 million finish over the four-day holiday period.

Warner Bros.” “House Party” will probably open outside the top five. Originally produced for a streaming debut on HBO Max, the studio has grown to a modest wide release in 1,350 locations. The comedy remake projects an opening of less than $5 million over its four-day frame, which doesn’t exactly make a dent at the box office.

Universal’s “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” looks set to take fourth place on the domestic charts, with an expected $16 million over the four-day holiday period. For the three-day frame, that is a decrease of at least 8% compared to last weekend. Already on sale on digital platforms, the DreamWorks spin-off “Shrek” has emerged as the rare family movie that became a major box office success of the pandemic era. Now in its fourth weekend, the movie will shoot past the $100 million mark on Saturday; the worldwide total currently stands at $206 million.

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