"Avatar: The Way of Water" is ending the year on a strong note at the box office. The film, produced by Disney and directed by James Cameron, earned $24.4 million on Friday, bringing its domestic total to $382.6 million. It is expected to earn $66.8 million over the weekend and $87.8 million over the four-day holiday, which includes New Year's Day. If these projections hold, "Avatar: The Way of Water" will have grossed over $445 million by the end of the holiday period, overtaking "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" as the second highest-grossing domestic release of 2022. "Top Gun: Maverick" currently holds the top spot for highest-grossing domestic release of the year with $718.7 million in revenues.
Universal's "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" is projected to take second place for the weekend, earning $6.5 million on Friday and an expected $15.9 million over the weekend and $21.2 million over the holiday. This would bring its total gross to $66.6 million. "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," produced by Disney and Marvel, took third place on Friday with $1.8 million, bringing its domestic total to $434.9 million. It is expected to earn $5.2 million over the weekend and over $7 million over the holiday.
Sony's biopic "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody" took fourth place on Friday with roughly $1.5 million, bringing its domestic total to just over $11 million. It is projected to earn $5.2 million over the holiday, leaving it with a total of nearly $16 million. In contrast, Paramount's "Babylon," a drama about the dawn of Hollywood featuring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt, struggled at the box office. It earned a low $935,000 on Friday and is expected to earn under $4 million over the holiday weekend, bringing its domestic total to around $11 million. The film, which cost $80 million to produce, may end up losing more than its production budget when marketing costs are taken into account.