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‘The Way of Water’ stays afloat atop N.America box office

LOS ANGELES, Jan 16 — Avatar: The Way of Water easily stayed atop the North American box office for a fifth straight week, taking in an estimated US$38.5 million on a long holiday weekend, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday.

That brought the domestic total for the Disney/20th Century blockbuster — the story of a blue-skinned race on a distant moon — to an impressive US$570 million, on top of an international total of US$1.33 billion.

The Way of Water, a sequel to the 2009 film that was the top grosser ever, could be the first film to hit US$2 billion worldwide since the Covid pandemic struck, Variety reported.

In second place over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend was scary-doll thriller M3GAN, from Universal and Blumhouse, at an estimated US$21.2 million. The humanoid doll in question, designed as a companion to a young orphan girl, takes on a creepy life of her own

Universal’s family-oriented Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, an animated Shrek spinoff, again placed third, taking in US$17.3 million.

Fourth place went to A Man Called Otto, at US$15 million. The Sony film, a feel-good adaptation of Swedish novel A Man Called Ove, stars Tom Hanks as a world-class curmudgeon forced to deal with some caring neighbours.

And in fifth was a new Lionsgate release, action-thriller Plane, at US$11.6 million. Gerard Butler stars as a pilot who has to work with a convicted killer (played by Mike Colter) to protect passengers after the plane crash-lands in a remote Philippine jungle controlled by armed militias.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

House Party (US$4.5 million)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (US$2.6 million)

The Whale (US$1.8 million)

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody (US$1.4 million)

Waltair Veerayya (US$1.2 million)

— AFP


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