Box Office: ‘Avatar 2’, ‘Puss In Boots 2’, and ‘M3GAN’ Continue Soaring Along To Wrap up January 2023

In a respectable end to the first month of 2023, the serene runs of Avatar: The Way of Water, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, A Man Called Otto, and M3GAN keep sailing along, heading into February. In fact, fifteen titles topped $1 million at the box office this weekend. That competition is relatively diminishing compared to the twenty-five titles taking in over a million on the first weekend of September 2017. Still, it at least matches the record on the second weekend in August last year.

It probably has to do with the matter of the nominees for the Academy Awards race piling up, with Everything, Everywhere All At Once, The Whale, and The Fabelmans showing some more attention before the winners are decided several weeks from now. Not all was sparkly for the announcements (another topic for a separate discussion), but more wins are piling up with a resurgence in the box office and attendance.

Avatar: The Way of Water took in $15.7 million (22% drop) in its seventh weekend, managing to stick at the first-place spot for seven consecutive weekends. No other feature since its predecessor has done that (Titanic spent fifteen weekends at the top spot!), and now Disney has another record under its belt. They also hold all the rights for the top-grossing films of all time (including the sixth, ninth, and tenth place, and a taste of No Way Home). Avatar 2 now stands at $620.6 million domestically and $1.5 billion internationally for a total of $2.116 billion, making it the fourth-highest grossing feature of all time. It should be passing the lifetime earning’s of Titanic ($2.187 billion) sometime in the first or second week of February. A $2.5 billion run is not out of the realm, but we’ll see what kind of legs it has once Knock at the Cabin, and Ant-Man 3 come to town. Another note is it’s also the highest-grossing film in France, and it got a few Oscar nominations under its belt (Best Visual Effects it should be acquiring).

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish continues to blossom even for second place, currently gunning for $350 million worldwide as its next benchmark. It’s still awaiting release in the U.K. and Japan, so that should string it past $400 million worldwide at the pace it’s flying at. Not too shabby for everyone’s favorite cat (unless you’re still a diehard of Garfield). A Man Called Otto is playing like an old-school Tom Hanks work, making it a hit with more theaters in its fifth weekend and a $6.75 million earning, putting its domestic total at $46 million. We’re probably looking at a finish between $60-70 million.

Everyone’s new favorite creepy doll M3GAN took in $6.37 million in its fourth weekend, putting it at $82.2 million domestically. The horror picture will be topping $150 million worldwide by Tuesday and still can play strong alongside Knock at the Cabin next weekend, thanks to the skewed (but justifiable) interest in original horror chapters. It should be getting past $100 million domestically, another fond reason why a sequel is occurring. Missing dropped 38% in its second weekend, bringing in $5.675 million and $17.5 million domestically. Gerard Butler’s Plane dropped 28% in its third weekend, with $3.825 million for a $25.3 million domestic total.

Surprisingly, Pathaan took fifth place, an underrated Bollywood flick that took in $6 million in 695 theaters for its debut. Folks over at Neon and Fathom Events should be all right with Infinity Pool‘s $2.725 million and Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist‘s $2.36 million. Likewise, the same could be said for Fear and Billie Eilish’s documentary.

Next weekend sees the release of M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin and Paramount’s 80 for Brady.

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