While its domestic debut wasn't as high as some prognosticators had guessed, Avatar: The Way of Water has proven it has got some serious sea legs in theaters: It just crossed the billion-dollar mark.
While that would be impressive for any movie, it is even more so considering the movie only came out in the States December 16.
Overseas moviegoers in particular can't get enough of James Cameron's long-brewing sequel to the 2009 original, which is the highest-grossing film of all time. The movie had a short head start in some overseas markets, and while The Way of Water made more than $293 million here as of Monday, it took in nearly $662 million overseas, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
The sequel starring Zoe Saldaña, Kate Winslet, Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver has also become one of the fastest films ever to cross the billion-dollar finish line: It took 2019's Avengers: Endgame — which briefly topped Avatar as the highest-grossing film of all time — just five days to make a billion bucks. Its predecessor, 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, took 11 days. 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home and 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens took 12.
The Way of Water settles in just behind 2021's Jurassic World, which took 13 days of global release to reach a billion bucks.
What's more, as of Wednesday, the Avatar sequel is now officially the third-highest-grossing movie of the pandemic era, and stands poised to slide into Jurassic World: Dominion's second-place spot.