20th Century Studios
James Cameron is continuing to make records internationally with Avatar: The Way of Water.
The sci-fi flick just surpassed the director's other mega-hit, Titanic, becoming the third-highest-grossing film in history internationally at the box office, according to Variety.
Already bringing in $1.538 million overseas, the blockbuster sequel to 2009's Avatar is catching up to its original installment, which holds the number one title at $2.1 billion. Avengers: Endgame trails in second at $1.9 in ticket sales, the outlet noted, making Cameron the creator of three out four of the biggest international releases to date.
Overall, The Way of Water — starring Zoe Saldaña and Sam Worthington — has brought in $2.174 billion worldwide, with $636 million at the domestic box office. That makes it No. 10 in the United States. Avatar is at $2.92 billion globally, Avengers: Endgame at $2.7 billion and Titanic clocked in at $2.19 billion.
The Avatar follow-up is predicted to pass Titanic in overall sales by next week, thanks to repeat customers, which proved fruitful for the 1997 epic film based on the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic ship.
As far as top-grossing countries for The Way of Water, China leads the way, followed by France, Germany and Korea.
Avatar: The Way of Water depicts Jake (Worthington, 46) and Neytiri's (Saldaña, 44) family and "the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure," according to an official synopsis.
Courtesy of 20th Century Studios
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In April 2021, James Cameron appeared virtually on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he spoke about the pressure of directing the highly anticipated follow-up films to the epic 2009 sci-fi blockbuster and top-grossing movie of all time.
"I cry. I just sit here at my desk and cry all day long because there's no way," the 68-year-old joked. "It's just too much pressure, dude."
A third installment of Avatar is on its way in Dec. 2024, with a fourth and fifth to follow, according to Cameron.
Last month, Cameron revealed that lead character Jake Sully (Worthington) will be replaced as a voice-over narrator by different characters in each of the franchise's upcoming sequels — starting with Jake's son Lo'ak (Britain Dalton) in Avatar 3.
"For example, Lo'ak really emerged as a character that people went with," Cameron said, as he discussed how he will use audience feedback from Avatar: The Way of Water to "tinker a little bit" with the series' third movie.
"So I might find ways to sort of — now, he's already the [narrator.] Oh, I'm giving something away here," Cameron said, as he realized he had given away an important detail for Avatar 3. "But this is okay, I think it could be intriguing for people to think about what's coming. Jake was our voice-over narrator for movie one and for movie two, and we have a different narrator for each of the subsequent films."
"We see it through the eyes of a different character and movie three is through Lo'ak's eyes," the director added.
20th Century Studios
Cameron's recent reveal makes for one of the few details known about the upcoming Avatar 3, expected to release in theaters on Dec. 30, 2024.
On Jan. 4, the director told France's 20 Minutes that the franchise's next movie will feature "different cultures from those I have already shown," according to Total Film.
"The fire will be represented by the 'Ash People.' I want to show the Na'vi from another angle because, so far, I have only shown their good sides," Cameron said in the interview.
He continued, "In the early films, there are very negative human examples and very positive Na'vi examples. In Avatar 3, we will do the opposite."
"We will also explore new worlds while continuing the story of the main characters," Cameron revealed. "I can say that the last parts will be the best. The others were an introduction, a way to set the table before serving the meal."
Avatar: The Way of Water is in theaters now.