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What Does Wakanda Forever's Box Office Run Mean For Avatar: The Way Of Water?

The 30th MCU film "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" dominated in theaters for five straight weeks after it triumphantly debuted on November 11, 2022, but its fifth consecutive win at the box office may be ultimately putting an immense amount of pressure on the long-awaited sequel "Avatar: The Way of Water."

It's no secret that it hasn't been an ideal year for the box office, and people still aren't going to see movies in cinemas like they were before the pandemic (via The Guardian). Several movies that were hyped up to be big hits failed to live up to expectations. Despite Dwayne Johnson hyping the project for years, the DC film "Black Adam" failed to avoid flop status, and the Disney animated film "Strange World" ended up losing a ton of money in the process because of its lousy ticket sales. While a good chunk of movies has not been able to get moviegoers in the seats, some titles have prevailed against all odds and brought in some impressive hauls at the box office. Titles like "Everything Everywhere All At Once," "Top Gun: Maverick," and "Minions: Rise of Gru" have proven that there is still life in the realm of theater-going, and going to the movies hasn't completely gone out of style just yet (via Box Office Mojo). But out of all the year's success stories, one that arguably stands out is the record-breaking turnout "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” had at the box office in November 2022. But the movies top of the charts streak may be a big problem for another hugely anticipated release.

Is the Black Panther sequel's box office run good or bad for the Avatar sequel?

During its fifth week at the box office, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" secured an additional $11 million, bringing its domestic total to $409 million. The total amount of tickets sold that particular weekend was a dismal affair resulting in a mere $32.8 million, and according to Comscore (via Variety), that is one of the worst turnouts of the year that is not only not good for business but also may not be great for another big release on the way. "A five-week stand at the top of box office charts — while great for 'Wakanda Forever' — is not a formula for ongoing success for the industry," claims Comscore senior analyst Paul Degarabedian. "This has placed enormous pressure on 'Avatar: The Way of Water' to deliver big when it opens later this week."

While there is no denying things aren't going great with the box office right now overall, it does seem like "Avatar: The Way of Water" may be better off than some experts may think, and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" may just be keeping the box office throne warm before the return to Pandora splashes down in theaters. The follow-up film is projected to make anywhere from $150 million to $170 million, and its director James Cameron is not only known for big box office returns but also has a knack for exceeding all expectations when it comes to sequels. The infamous director isn't concerned with the idea of his second "Avatar" film not performing well, and it would seem that "Avatar: The Way of Water" could very well be just the thing to reignite the box office and get people back in theaters.