FRIDAY UPDATE: With its Thursday figures tallied, Disney’s rerelease of James Cameron’s Avatar has grossed $3.5M from 37 international box office markets. On a like-for-like overseas basis, that two-day number places the return to Pandora 57% ahead of the 2012 3D reissue of Star Wars: Episode I and 29% below the 2012 3D version of Cameron’s own Titanic which had an Easter holiday bow.
The Avatar rerelease comes a little under three months ahead of the launch of Avatar: The Way of Water, and acts as a refresher on the world of the Na’vi and the immersive 3D visuals — 50% of offshore screens are showing it in 3D this weekend with strong uptake in Korea, France, Germany and other majors. There’s also sneak footage from Way of Water tagged onto the Avatar reissue, giving audiences a taste of what’s to come for the highly-anticipated sequel.
On Thursday, key markets Italy ($300K), Germany and Mexico ($200K apiece) each saw No. 1 launches for the remastered /20th Century Studios title. Other No. 1s were in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Ukraine, Singapore, Thailand, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
Australia, where the film started at No. 3 on Thursday, had a $400K opening day, 36% ahead of the 2012 Titanic reissue. 3D repped 69% of the box office.
Leading the charge so far on the rerelease is France at $700K from two days, followed by Australia, Italy, Saudi Arabia ($300K/two days) and Korea ($300K/two days/$446K through today). Notably in the latter, whose Friday number is not included in the overall total above, audience reactions are very positive with a Naver score of 9.82 and a CGV score of 98%.
North America releases today (coming in with about $2.5M in presales) as well as the UK, Japan and India among key markets.
We’ll have more updates throughout the weekend.
PREVIOUS, THURSDAY: Disney yesterday began overseas rollout on the remastered rerelease of James Cameron’s Avatar in five early markets with the Na’vi seeing a collective $877K gross. The 4K high dynamic range version was No. 1 in France at $513K, coming in 8% ahead of the comparable 3D rerelease of Titanic in 2012.
In Korea, the 20th Century Studios film was No. 3 behind two local titles (through Thursday, it’s taken in $277K). Elsewhere, Avatar came in No. 2 in Saudi Arabia and No. 1 in both Belgium and Philippines.
Today adds such markets as Germany, Italy, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. In total, Avatar will play on over 8,000 offshore screens and in North America this weekend.
As we reported on Wednesday, social media was abuzz as it emerged that sneak footage of the upcoming sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, was tagged onto the end of the film. Reactions were highly positive.
Meanwhile, Disney is pulling out the stops when it comes to Avatar and China. To coincide with the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort’s Avatar: Explore Pandora immersive exhibition, the park held a special screening of the movie, replete with a message from the filmmaker.
In China, the one-off screening utilized the CINITY technology that was developed in the country. Avatar is not rereleasing wide in the market as it was already in cinemas there last year.
The news follows word that executives from China Film Group were recently treated to a screening of footage from the upcoming Way of Water, receiving a surprise greeting from Cameron.
It’s too early for word of an Avatar 2 release in China, though it’s a massive market for the franchise with the first film doing over $200M there way back in 2010, and the rerelease adding $58M. That pushed the Na’vi past Avengers: Endgame to reclaim the crown of highest-grossing film of all time at the global box office.
Shanghai Disney’s Explore Pandora, a temporary installation slated for a six-month engagement, will be the first Avatar-themed touring exhibition hosted in a Disney park worldwide. Designed in collaboration with Lightstorm Entertainment and Disney Location-Based Experiences, the walkthrough exhibition offers guests an exploration of the fantastical alien moon of Pandora, the culture of the Na’vi and their bioluminescent environments.
Set across 1,400-square meters, it features life-sized recreations of iconic landmarks from the film, including the Tree of Voices. Standing six meters in height, the centerpiece is a glowing recreation of the movie’s sacred place of connection containing whispers from the ancestors of the Na’vi.
High-tech interactives include the Amplified Mobility Platform (AMP) suit simulator, as well as an opportunity to be “Avatarized.” There’s also a shopping experience.
Avatar: The Way of Water begins overseas rollout on December 14 this year and lands in North America on December 16.