After passing “Avengers: Infinity War” at the global box office on Thursday, Disney/20th Century’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” will pass “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for the No. 4 spot on the all-time box office list before inflation adjustment.
After its seventh Friday in theaters, “Avatar 2” has totals of $608 million domestic and $2.074 billion worldwide, topping the $2.071 billion that “The Force Awakens” earned during the winter of 2015. Its next target is another film from James Cameron, “Titanic,” which has a lifetime gross total of $2.19 billion.
On the domestic charts, industry estimates have “Avatar 2” adding $15 million this weekend, which would bring its North American cume to $620 million. Early next week, the sequel will pass the $623 million of Marvel’s “The Avengers” and join the domestic Top 10 all-time list.
In second place once again is Universal/DreamWorks’ “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which continues to perform like the animated equivalent of “The Greatest Showman.” Five years ago, that Hugh Jackman musical used rave word of mouth to turn an anemic Christmas launch into a months-long run with $174 million domestic and $434 million worldwide.
“Puss in Boots 2,” which received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature this past week, is reaching that same level of box office success, dropping just 11% this weekend to $10.5 million for a domestic total of $140 million.
About a month ago, it seemed very unlikely that “Puss in Boots 2” could match the box office performance of “Sing 2” last year, but it is now within striking distance of that Illumination sequel and its $162 million domestic, $402 million global total. With no family films coming out until “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” in March, the only thing stopping “Puss in Boots” is the limits of its own audience buzz.
A trio of films are neck-and-neck for third place on the charts. Currently slotted at No. 3 is Sony’s “A Man Called Otto” starring Tom Hanks, which is also legging out respectably with $6.3 million in its third wide weekend for a domestic total of $45.6 million.
Neck-and-neck with “Otto” is the sole newcomer to the Top 5, “Pathaan,” the latest installment in the Indian spy action franchise YRF. Starring Shah Rukh Khan, the film has earned $6.3 million from 894 theaters, driven by the devoted audience in the U.S. that has made Indian imports a reliable player in the specialty market.
Universal/Blumhouse’s “M3GAN” completes the Top 5 with $6 million in its fourth weekend, giving the horror film a total of just under $82 million.