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Box Office: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Set to Overtake ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ as Year’s Highest-Grossing International Release

Avatar: The Way of Water” has sailed past the $1.1 billion mark at the global box office.

The film is also set to overtake “Top Gun: Maverick” to become the highest-grossing international release of 2022. James Cameron’s sci-fi epic added $70.4 million to its global bounty on Wednesday. That leaves it with a domestic haul of $337.8 million and an International total of $762.8 million. “Top Gun: Maverick” topped out at $770 million internationally, a figure that “Avatar: The Way of Water” should eclipse at some point on Thursday. Globally, “Top Gun: Maverick” is still the year’s highest-grossing release with $1.5 billion.

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“Avatar: The Way of Water” has a good chance of reaching that milestone too, though it probably will fall short of “Top Gun: Maverick’s” $718.8 million stateside gross.

“Avatar’s” success comes as the global box office is struggling — Hollywood films aren’t getting released in Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, and China isn’t fielding as many foreign titles. With the International landscape diminished, just three films released in 2022 managed to surpass the billion-dollar mark, a short list that includes “Top Gun: Maverick” (which took 31 days to clear the benchmark) and “Jurassic World Dominion” (which took more than four months to join the club). By comparison, nine movies released in 2019 surpassed $1 billion worldwide. “The Way of Water” is the fastest to hit the mark since 2021’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which passed the number in 12 days. Only six movies in history have cleared $1 billion in their first two weeks of release, a feat that “Avatar” accomplished earlier this week.

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