In the years since its release, Avatar has become the most iconic film in the history of the science fiction genre, and its influence continues to be felt on countless other movies and video games to this day. Now, nearly 10 years after its original release, it looks like James Cameron’s epic space opera will add another record to its already impressive list of accomplishments: biggest box office opening weekend in re-release history. According to figures released by Box Office Mojo, Avatar pulled in $10 million domestically when it made its theatrical re-release debut this weekend.
Disney anticipates making $30 million in ticket sales worldwide from the theatrical re-release of “Avatar” from 2009.
Box office analysts are buzzing over the $20 million worldwide total, even if local ticket sales, which are anticipated to total $10 million, are in line with expectations.
The re-release of the James Cameron-created eco-conscious science fiction universe is now seen as somewhat of a litmus test for whether viewers still want to visit there. The first of the original movie’s four sequels, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” will debut in December.
Given that the movie was shown only in 3D this weekend, the performance was strong and should be encouraging for the sequel’s much bigger release in December, according to Shawn Robbins, chief media analyst at BoxOffice.com.
After viewing Sunday’s anticipated numbers, box office observers concurred that “Avatar” certainly still has a following. However, it’s yet uncertain if this desire will result in December ticket sales, particularly for 3D presentations.
But there are still unanswered questions, according to Robbins. “Given how re-releases, in general, have done in previous years, we can’t safely conclude the audience attendance here gave enough of a litmus test on exclusive 3D rollouts,” the statement reads.
In addition to its emphasis on 3D, Robbins said that it could be crucial for Disney to provide a range of screen alternatives, such as 2D on expensive screens like IMAX. While there was a brief period after the first release of “Avatar” when crowds flocked to 3D showings, it has diminished over the next ten years.
However, this won’t be as big of a problem elsewhere. In overseas markets, particularly in China, 3D has continued to enjoy outstanding popularity. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that “Avatar” grossed a staggering $2.08 billion in revenue outside of the United States.
The fact that overseas ticket sales have outperformed domestic sales by a factor of two suggests that the viewers that helped propel “Avatar” to the top of the box office rankings will probably see “The Way of Water.”
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, noted that the “Avatar” series continues to have strong viewer attention on the big screen. The $20.5 million in overseas revenue this weekend provides compelling evidence that the new movie might have a huge global opening in December.