saidi’s take – 12/20/2022

Hello everyone,

  • “Avatar: The Way of Water” had a decent opening weekend of $134 million domestic.  It’s a decent opening – it’s already the #13 movie of 2022 and it’s tied with “The Batman” for the #5 opening weekend of the year – however it didn’t meet estimates of $150-175 million opening.  Some are saying this is because most people wanted to see it on the premiere formats (DolbyVision, IMAX, Large Screen 3D) while some of the regular 2D screens still had tickets available.  Others say the first “Avatar” only made about $77 million opening weekend and Cameron’s movie don’t rely on opening weekends as much.
  • Most people think that “Avatar: The Way of Water” will continue to do well during the week – since schools are out on holiday break and some people are on vacation for the holidays – and, although there’s 3 movie openings this weekend (the R rated “Babylon”, the animated “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”, and the biopic “Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance with Somebody”) it will still be the top of the holiday 4-day weekend (thanks to the “Christmas Day Observed” on Monday Dec 26th).  So, a lot of people are saying we should wait and see how it’s doing at the end of this year.
  • Internationally, “Avatar: The Way of Water” did very well with a global total of approx. $442 million including China (where a lot of other big openings this year DIDN’T open) where it made approx. $57 million.  This is the 3rd highest worldwide opening weekend since the pandemic started and 2nd highest in 2022.  It was expected to do more in China but was affected by the COVID resurgence in the country.
  • Tom Cruise filmed a video – partially WHILE he’s skydiving – thanking audiences for their support making “Top Gun Maverick” the #1 movie of 2022 and also promoting next years “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning” (which is why he’s skydiving).  
  • Paramount also posted an extended feature from the next Mission Impossible movie where Tom Cruise is riding a motorcycle off a cliff and then opens a parachute.  
  • James Cameron on the press tour for “Avatar: The Way of Water” is getting some questions about Matt Damon…

..Cameron’s response is that he would love for Matt Damon to appear in one of the other “Avatar” sequels but not for 10% of the gross.

Little bit of humor…..

Believe it or not, there used to be SMOKING SECTIONS in movie theaters (in the 70s and part of the 80s) so advertising on a matchbook made sense back then.