Disney and James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" earned $56 million in its second weekend at the box office, a 58% drop from its debut. This drop is not uncommon for blockbusters, as most movies experience a 50-70% decline from opening weekend. This metric, known as the second-week drop, is used to determine the long-term success of a movie. If a movie drops less than 50%, it is expected to have a strong run, while those that exceed 70% typically experience a decrease in ticket sales.
Over the Christmas holiday weekend, cold winter weather and storms likely contributed to a slower domestic turnout, but international ticket sales remained strong, with a 43.9% second-week drop. The movie has made $855 million globally so far and is the fifth highest-grossing film of 2022. Paramount and Skydance's "Top Gun: Maverick" is currently the leader with $1.48 billion.
With no major competition until "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" on February 17, "The Way of Water" has time to make up any lost ground and reach its long-term expectations. While the second-week drop is a key indicator of a movie's success, it is not the only factor in determining long-term success. With a few weeks left until its next big competitor, the upcoming weeks should prove interesting for Disney and James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water".