Avatar 2 has made more money in 2023 than The Marvels

Leon Miller
Avatar: The Way of Water and The Marvels

2022 release Avatar: The Way of Water has out-grossed several 2023 Disney releases at this year’s box office, including The Marvels.

Avatar: The Way of Water hit cinemas on December 16, 2022. The direct sequel to James Cameron’s wildly successful 2009 sci-fi epic Avatar, the film was subject to intense scrutiny due to its protracted development cycle.

Indeed, many critics and moviegoers doubted that Cameron could rekindle interest in the Avatar franchise so long after the first movie’s debut. The Oscar-winning filmmaker proved them wrong, though, and Avatar: The Way of Water raked in over $2.3 billion in global ticket sales.

The second Avatar installment was also generally well-received by professional pundits. The Way of Water’s dazzling CGI-driven visuals were widely praised, although some critics took issue with the sequel’s story and 192-minute runtime.

Avatar 2 outperforms The Marvels and other 2023 movies

But, as noted above, neither of these criticisms was enough to dent Avatar: The Way of Water’s box office performance. The blockbuster continued to post strong numbers when its theatrical run rolled over to 2023, grossing $283 million in the US alone.

As Variety recently noted, this makes it the seventh-highest-grossing title of the year domestically. It also puts Avatar: The Way of Water ahead of several other high-profile Disney movies that premiered in 2023 – including Marvel Studios’ The Marvels.

The latest MCU installment has only earned a comparatively meager $76 million, although it’s worth noting its theatrical run is still ongoing. Disney’s other big budget underperformers in 2023 include Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ($214 million), Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ($174 million), Elemental ($154 million), and Haunted Mansion ($67 million).

That said, the House of Mouse had greater success with another entry in the MCU canon, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Writer-director James Gunn’s final Guardians outing notched up over $845 million worldwide earlier this year and is currently the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2023.

Avatar 3 targets a December 2025 release date

Even so, 2023 marks the first non-pandemic year that Disney hasn’t dropped a $1 billion movie since 2014. Disney can’t rely on Avatar to dig it out of trouble, either, as the franchise’s third flick won’t hit screens until December 19, 2025.

Avatar 3’s plot remains under wraps for now, although Cameron revealed in January 2023 that the threequel will introduce “two completely new cultures” to the franchise’s mythos.

For all the latest Avatar 3 content, be sure to check out Dexerto’s full coverage here.

About The Author

Leon is a freelance Movies and TV writer at Dexerto. His past writing credits include articles for Polygon, Popverse, The Escapist, Screen Rant, CBR, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more. Originally from Australia, Leon is currently based in the UK.