After passing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for fourth on the all-time global box office charts, Disney/20th Century’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” is now on pace to pass fellow James Cameron film “Titanic” for third on that list.
“Avatar 2” is approximately $78 million away from passing the lifetime gross total of “Titanic,” with $620.9 million domestic and $2.11 billion global box office totals. Later this week, it will pass the $623 million domestic total of “The Avengers” to become one of the top 10 highest-grossing films in North America before inflation adjustment. The film earned $15.7 million domestically in its seventh weekend to bring its total to $621 million.
Universal/DreamWorks’ “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is in second, continuing its remarkable legs with $10.6 million in its sixth weekend. The film is now within striking distance of passing the $162 million domestic total of Illumination’s “Sing 2” with totals of $140.8 million domestic and $334 million worldwide. Alongside “Sing 2” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru” — both Universal releases — “Puss in Boots 2” is one of only three COVID-era animated films to pass $300 million at the global box office.
Sony’s “A Man Called Otto” is in a narrow race for third with $6.75 million in its third wide weekend, bringing its domestic total to $46 million. The decent legs for this Tom Hanks-starring dramedy is a hopeful sign that broad appeal films aimed primarily towards older audiences are steadily making a comeback, one that could continue next weekend with the Paramount comedy “80 for Brady.”
Neck-and-neck with “Otto” is Yash Raj Films’ Hindi-language action film “Pathaan,” the latest hit Indian import to crack the top 5 in the U.S. with $6.7 million grossed.
While last year’s crossover Indian hits like “KGF Chapter 2” and “RRR” were produced in South India, “Pathaan” is a Bollywood production that also marks the return of leading man Shah Rukh Khan in his first role since 2018. Released in just 694 theaters this weekend, “Pathaan” has the highest per-theater average of any film at approximately $9,700.
Universal/Blumhouse/Atomic Monster’s “M3GAN” completes the top 5 with $6.3 million grossed in its third weekend and a total of $82.2 million, putting it on pace to pass the $90.1 million domestic total of Blumhouse’s summer 2022 film “The Black Phone.” Sony/Screen Gems/Stage 6’s “Missing” is sixth with $5.6 million in its second weekend, a 37% drop from its $9.1 million opening to give the low-budget screen-based thriller a $17.5 million 10-day total.
Farther down the charts in eighth is Neon’s “Infinity Pool,” the hard R-rated horror film from Brandon Cronenberg that shocked audiences at Sundance this past week and earned $2.7 million from 1,835 theaters this weekend. Critics mostly embraced the film’s gruesome and psychosexual imagery and disturbing tale about a struggling author at a hedonistic island resort, but audiences were polarized as the film took Rotten Tomatoes scores of 88% critics and 52% audience to go with a C- on CinemaScore.
Elsewhere, a pair of special event screenings also hit theaters, including Fathom Events’ faith-based apocalyptic thriller “Left Behind: The Rise of the Antichrist,” which made an estimated $2.2 million from 1,835 screens. The concert film “Billie Eilish: Live at the O2,” which screened in 600 theaters on Friday only, added $1.2 million.
Overall, box office weekend revenue continues to trend above January 2022 even as it remains below pre-pandemic years. Industry estimates have this weekend’s overall total standing at $77 million, up 21% from last year’s $63 million thanks to a stronger set of January releases and holiday holdovers.