Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

Avatar: The Way of Water, the sequel to the hit 2009 film Avatar, has underperformed expectations in the all-important Chinese market as the movie grossed only $57.1 million when the film was expected to hit $120 million.

The original Avatar grossed over $190 million back in 2009 and 2010 when the original David Cameron movie was released. The new film, however, is showing weakness in the opening weekend.

Disney was expecting to have a massive box office success on its hands with the new film which is the first in a new trilogy for the Avatar franchise.

The Walt Disney Company was expecting to have a $200 million domestic box office which was subsequently lowered to between $130 and $150 million. The domestic box office also underperformed their expectations, per Variety.

Domestically, the film made only $134 million on its opening weekend which was nearly double the original Avatar’s opening weekend box office, but the results still underperformed expectations.

Globally the film made $434.5 million which makes the film successful. But in the eyes of Disney, who is used to having opening weekends top $500 million for some of their biggest films like Avengers: Endgame or Spiderman: No Way Home, Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t meet their benchmarks, per Breitbart.

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The first Avatar set an expectation for Hollywood to pursue the Chinese market as the film became the highest-grossing film in 2010 for the Chinese market. Ever since Hollywood has pandered to the Chinese and been willing to alter their films to fit Chinese censorship laws.

While Disney continues to attempt to kowtow to the Chinese government, domestically they are facing the consequences. The company’s stock has been in freefall since it got into a political fight with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). 

Disney’s stock has fallen to $87 a share from a 52-week high of $160 a share. Disney, which recently ousted Bob Chapek as CEO to return Bob Iger to his former position, began its downward plunge into after-hours trading last Thursday culminating in a total loss of 4.7 percent of its value, per CNBC.

The downward turn was so bad for the company that it led the Dow Jones Industrial Average to fall more than 700 points, the worst day for the market in three months.

Investors are clearly seeing that audiences are getting fed up with Disney’s pandering to Chinese and progressive audiences. The numbers from the Avatar sequel and various other films are proving that when companies move away from the traditional American audience, they suffer for it.

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