‘Avatar 2,’ ‘M3GAN’ hold onto top spots at the box office

Jan 14, 2023, 6:25 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2023, 2:11 pm
This image released by 20th Century Studios shows Sam Worthington, as Jake Sully, in a scene from "...

This image released by 20th Century Studios shows Sam Worthington, as Jake Sully, in a scene from "Avatar: The Way of Water." (20th Century Studios via AP)

(20th Century Studios via AP)

              This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Shakira Ja'nai Paye, left, and Tosin Cole in a scene from "House Party."  (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
            
              This image released by Lionsgate shows Gerard Butler, left, and Mike Colter in a scene from "Plane." (Kenneth Rexach/Lionsgate via AP)
            
              This image released by Lionsgate shows Gerard Butler in a scene from "Plane." (Kenneth Rexach/Lionsgate via AP)
            
              This image released by 20th Century Studios shows Kate Winslet, as Ronal, left, and Cliff Curtis, as Tonowari, in a scene from "Avatar: The Way of Water." (20th Century Studios via AP)
            
              This image released by 20th Century Studios shows Sam Worthington, as Jake Sully, in a scene from "Avatar: The Way of Water." (20th Century Studios via AP)

New movies like “Plane” and “House Party” were no match for “Avatar: The Way of Water” and the killer doll horror “M3GAN” at the box office this weekend. The two holdovers topped the charts again according to studio estimates Sunday.

In first place for the fifth weekend in a row was James Cameron’s “Avatar” sequel, which added an estimated $31.1 million through Sunday. That total will likely balloon to $38.5 million by the end of Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday. As of Sunday, the film’s domestic total now rests at $562.9 million (the 13th biggest of all time) and its global total is $1.89 billion. “Avatar 2” needs to pass $1.92 billion to trump “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which is currently the sixth highest grossing film of all time globally.

“There were such huge expectations and a lot of naysayers that opening weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “But ‘Avatar,’ for a James Cameron movie, is moving at lightning speed up the domestic and global box office chart. I think he always knew this would be a $2 billion movie.”

Second place went to Universal and Blumhouse’s “M3GAN” which in its second weekend in theaters added $17.9 million through Sunday and an estimated $21.2 million including Monday. The modestly budgeted thriller that cost a reported $12 million to produce has made $59.8 million in North America.

Horror movies typically have very steep second weekend drop offs in ticket sales, but “M3GAN” only fell 41%. Dergarabedian said that’s almost unheard of for a horror picture and shows “world class staying power.”

Universal also claimed the third place spot, with “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which audiences continued to seek out in theaters even though it’s currently available to rent at home. The family-friendly animated film added $13.4 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its domestic total to $110.3 million.

“A Man Called Otto,” from Columbia Pictures, expanded to 3,802 theaters this weekend, adding $12.7 million through Sunday, and $15 million including Monday, to take fourth place. Directed by Marc Forster, the adaptation of “A Man Called Ove” starring Tom Hanks is proving to be something of a rarity in the theatrical marketplace as an adult-targeted drama that is doing well.

The Gerard Butler action pic “Plane,” a Lionsgate acquisition for release in North America, rounded out the top five with a better-than-expected $10 million in its first three days. In the film, Butler plays a pilot whose crash landing on an island is only the first of his troubles. On the island, most of the passengers are taken hostage. “Plane” got better-than-average reviews with 75% positive from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sixth place went to the second major new offering this weekend, “House Party,” a reboot of Reginald Hudlin’s 1990 hit that spawned several spinoffs. The film, which made $3.9 million through Sunday from 1,400 locations, was originally intended as a straight-to-HBO Max property but Warner Bros. pivoted to a theatrical release as a gesture to audiences and exhibitors hungry for new films. The R-rated, youth-oriented comedy did not score well with critics.

Overall, the three-day box office total is going to net out around $100 million, which is not quite at pre-pandemic levels, but still up some 44% from the same weekend last year.

“January is not going to be the slow month we thought. It’s a great combination of films out there that’s not just dominated by ‘Avatar: The Way of Water,'” Dergarabedian said. “Theaters need movies and the studios are supplying those.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore, with Wednesday through Sunday in parentheses. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Avatar: The Way of Water,” $31.1 million.

2. “M3GAN,” $17.9 million.

3. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” $13.4 million.

4. “A Man Called Otto,” $12.7 million.

5. “Plane,” $10 million.

6. “House Party,” $3.9 million.

7. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” $2.2 million.

8. “The Whale,” $1.5 million.

9. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” $1.2 million.

10. “Waltair Veeraya,” 905,000.

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in Nov. 2022, a...
Associated Press

News groups ask Idaho Supreme Court to reject University slayer gag order

Thirty news organizations have asked the Idaho Supreme Court to overturn a gag order in a case against a man accused of stabbing four students to death.
22 hours ago
Commanding General of the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division based in Hawaii, Maj. Gen. Joseph Ryan...
Associated Press

US general to aggressors: Allies are battle-ready in Asia

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — American forces and their allies in Asia are ready for battle after years of joint combat exercises, a United States general said Wednesday, adding that Russia’s setbacks in Ukraine should serve as a warning to potential Asian aggressors like China and North Korea. U.S. treaty allies like the Philippines, Japan and […]
22 hours ago
FILE - The company logo highlights the grille of a 2021 Tacoma pickup truck on display in the Toyot...
Associated Press

Toyota reports 8% drop in Oct-Dec profit, keeps forecast

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota reported an 8.1% drop in fiscal third quarter profit Thursday, as a global shortage of computer chips and soaring raw material costs battering the auto industry hit Japan’s top automaker. Toyota Motor Corp.’s October-December profit totaled 727.9 billion yen ($5.6 billion), down from 791.7 billion yen the previous year. The company […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Wednesday’s Scores

BOYS PREP BASKETBALL= District Tournament= Class 1A District 2= King’s 76, Summit Sierra 37 Northwest School 50, Bear Creek School 34 Overlake School 69, Eastside Prep 32 Seattle Academy 69, Sultan 59 Class 1A District 7= Colville 48, Newport 43 Deer Park 69, Riverside 45 Class 1B District 4= Columbia Adventist Academy 52, Pe Ell […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Wednesday’s Scores

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL= District Tournament= Class 1A District 1= Lynden Christian 70, Meridian 36 Nooksack Valley 98, Blaine 21 Class 1B District 2= Evergreen Lutheran 29, Crosspoint Academy 27 Puget Sound Adventist 49, Pope John Paul II 21 Sound Christian 45, Northwest Yeshiva 30 Class 1B District 7= Inchelium 60, Wilbur-Creston 39 Odessa 58, Curlew […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman takes the stage at an election night party in Pittsburg...
Associated Press

Sen. John Fetterman hospitalized after feeling lightheaded

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, the Pennsylvania Democrat who suffered a stroke during his campaign last year, was hospitalized Wednesday night after feeling lightheaded while attending a Senate Democratic retreat, his office said. Initial tests at George Washington University Hospital did not show evidence of a new stroke, Fetterman’s communications director, Joe Calvello, […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
‘Avatar 2,’ ‘M3GAN’ hold onto top spots at the box office