Zoe Saldana is officially a box office blockbuster star…
The 44-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress’ latest film Avatar: The Way of Water has replaced Titanic as the third-highest grossing film in history.
While the director of both films, James Cameron, has two films in the top three, Saldana appears in all three films, a feat not achieved by any other performer.
The sci-fi sequel Avatar: The Way of Water has generated $2.2433 billion globally, enough to overtake Titanic ($2.2428 billion) at the worldwide box office. Now, The Way of Water trails only Avatar ($2.92 billion) and Avengers: Endgame ($2.7 billion) on the all-time charts.
Saldana stars as Ney’tiri in the Avatar films and appears as her Guardians of the Galaxy character, Gamora.
Like the original “Avatar,” the follow-up’s success is attributed to its generation-spanning appeal as well as the incentive to watch the film in premium and 3D formats. On Imax screens, the movie has crossed $250 million. That’s more coinage than many films manage to earn in their entire theatrical runs.
In North America, “The Way of Water” is the ninth-highest grossing movie ever with $657 million to date. In order to fly higher on the all-time domestic charts, it’ll have to take down Titanic (at No. 8 with $659 million) and Avengers: Infinity War (at No. 7 with $678 million).
Elsewhere, “Avatar 2” recently passed Titanic to become the third-highest grossing international release ever with $1.585 billion. It’s behind only 2009’s Avatar ($2.1 billion) and Avengers: Endgame ($1.9 billion) in terms of overseas ticket sales. Standout markets include China ($242 million), France ($144 million), Germany ($135 million) and Korea ($106 million). It ranks as highest-grossing film of all-time in more than 20 countries, including France, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Rep, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Turkey, UAE, Cambodia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Colombia and Puerto Rico.
Disney and 20th Century spent roughly $460 million to produce and promote The Way of Water, which is one of the most expensive films ever. The long-delayed sequel opened on the big screen in December and has remained in the top five on box office charts for 10 consecutive weeks. Saldana and Sam Worthington star in the otherworldly saga about family. A third installment is set to debut in December 2024 with plans for fourth and fifth entries in the coming years.