‘Avatar’ Set to Dethrone ‘Top Gun’ As the Biggest Film of 2022
James Cameron, that old cinematic maverick, is king of the movie world yet again.
After Tuesday’s box office grosses, Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water has now grossed more than $1 billion overseas, making it the only 2022 release to accomplish that feat. And that number doesn’t include its grosses in the U.S., where it has already made over $450 million dollars. All told, the movie is hours away from crossing $1.5 billion worldwide — putting it ever so slightly ahead of 2022’s previous box-office champion, Top Gun: Maverick.
Cameron has said that Avatar: The Way of Water would need to be one of the most successful films in history just to turn a profit, and right now it looks like it’s on pace to do just that. After a little over two weeks of release in theaters around the world, the movie is already the 11th biggest film ever. It’s already grossed more money than Frozen II, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Panther, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It’s only a matter of days before it cracks the all-time worldwide box office top ten, where the number ten spot is currently occupied by Furious 7 and its $1.51 billion. (The original Avatar remains the all-time highest-grossing film ever, with $2.922 billion in earnings across its various theatrical releases.)
While Top Gun: Maverick is going to wind up as 2022’s second-biggest film when all is said and done, it still earned more than $1.48 billion worldwide, vastly exceeding most expectations for the movie’s financial potential. And for now it also remains the biggest domestic hit of 2022. While Avatar has yet to clear $500 million in the U.S., Maverick grossed more than $718 million domestically. The Way of Water may never top that number, even as it continues to attract huge crowds around the world.
Avatar: The Way of Water remains in release in theaters around the world. Top Gun: Maverick is now streaming on Paramount+.