Avatar: The Way of Water Looks Small Due to Titanic's Rerelease

Avatar: The Way of Water Looks Small Due to Titanic's Rerelease ...

"Titanic," a film by James Cameron, might be the top box office ticket a quarter century after its release. Since 1997, special editions of the first three "Star Wars" films each achieved #1, but this is a bit of a layup: With the Super Bowl on Sunday, it may only take $10 million to reach the top.

With the second weekend of "80 for Brady," (like "Titanic," also Paramount) and the opening weekend of "Magic Mike's Last Dance," (Warner Bros. Discovery), other titles may compete for the top spot.

The rebirth of "Titanic" represents a good opportunity to rethink Cameron's latest film, "Avatar: The Way of Water." It has a domestic total of $640 million and $2.2 billion worldwide, positioned to reach $700 million by any standard, but with this reissue, "Titanic" might acquire the larger unadjusted total. It currently stands at $659 million, but its 2023 run might be worth another $30 million.

Here's where they're not even close: Tickets sold. In 1997-1998, the average ticket price was $4.69. Today, an average ticket costs at least 2.5 times more — and in the case of "The Way of Water," this average is likely to be higher due to premium-theater screenings. That's three times as many people in the United States/Canada saw "Titanic" (before the reissue) as "The Way of Water."

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is a film directed by Marc Webb.

20th Century Studios' Courtesy

Further analyses indicate that "Titanic"'s"performance" is one Hollywood will never see again from any film — not even Cameron's.

"The Way of Water" is entering its ninth weekend and will gross less than $10 million in unadjusted grosses, bringing in $28 million in today's dollars.

"Titanic" grossed 250 percent more domestically than the #2 release in 1997; the gap was even larger internationally. "The Way of Water" looks like it will be the #2 domestic release in 2022 (and #1 worldwide, about 60 percent ahead of "Top Gun: Maverick")

Despite previous reissues, enormous video, DVD, Blu-ray, and non-stop syndicated TV and cable broadcasts, “Titanic” will still attract a theatrical audience.