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Top Gun Predicted to Take the 2022 Crown Domestically

Despite a slight surge from Avatar: The Way of Water, with the end of the year closing in fast, it seems that Top Gun: Maverick will take the number 1 spot in domestic releases. Avatar 2, however, is likely to take the global top spot. Blake & Wang P.A entertainment attorney, Brandon Blake, walks us through the figures.

A Slow Climb

Despite a rocky start, Avatar: The Way of Water is slowly climbing on the charts. However, without a sudden surge far higher than seems likely, it will likely come in second behind the $719M domestic total for Top Gun: Maverick.

On the global front, the figures are a bit different. Avatar 2 looks well-positioned to surpass the $770M international totals for Top Gun: Maverick, which would take it immediately to the No 1 spot.

Through Tuesday last week, The Way of Water was tracking at just below $169M, with $560M worldwide. It has started to pick up speed, presumably as both the panic of festive season celebrations calms down and holiday boredom strikes. From that Monday to Tuesday alone was a 13% improvement. Its length is still a bit of a turn-off despite its family-friendly nature, with younger audiences finding it difficult to sit through. On the other hand, word of mouth is giving it strong encouragement. There’s also likely to be some strong repeat views to bolster the takings, too, and there’s a record low number of new releases to offer competition.

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The (Non-) Battle of the Fan Bases

Unlike Top Gun: Maverick, there doesn’t seem to be much compulsion to see the movie immediately and on the big screen among the fan base for Avatar. Which is quite interesting. Yes, Avatar first premiered 13 years ago, a ridiculously long time to keep fan flames burning… but Top Gun: Maverick was fanning 36 year old flames! The unusual traction gained by the belated Top Gun sequel is certainly a notable one, and something very few predicted. At 131 minutes, with a mostly adult demographic, it was also easier to sit through in cinemas, where Avatar’s gargantuan 192-minute runtime, with a younger audience base, is asking a lot. Presumably this is why it was given a holiday premier in the first place- that time commitment is at least easier to manage on a holiday break.

However, in North America particularly, the sudden sharp turn in the weather does not make an adventure to the cinema particularly compelling, and may well be the biggest hurdle for the film domestically. It likely will pass the low-ball scenario of $475M, with most estimates hovering in the $500M + arena. It could even make it to $600M, depending on how the rest of this week goes. But with 4 days remaining to finish out the year, the chances of a surge past Top Gun domestically seem low indeed.

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Internationally, it’s helped by more clement weather and a Chinese release, even though it hasn’t performed as well as predicted there. With its global total already well over $1B, however, matching Top Gun’s $770 international should be considerably easier. Of course, nothing is set in stone yet, but the likelihood of a Number 2 spot domestically and Number 1 internationally seems high indeed.

Jack henry
Jack henry
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