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

Avatar: The Way of Water, the newly released sequel to the 2009 film Avatar, suffered a drastic underperformance at the box office this past weekend compared to its predecessor. The estimated $460 million film dropped a staggering 58 percent in its second-weekend box office sales.

The sequel brought in only $56 million over the weekend as Americans suffered from a massive cold front that enveloped the country. In comparison, the first film garnered over $75 million in its second weekend and over $68 million in its third weekend in theaters, according to Box Office Mojo.

While The Way of Water decreased by 58 percent, the first film only dropped two percent in its second weekend, according to Breitbart.

Domestically, the film has garnered $279.7 million and $881.4 million globally overall since its release on Dec. 16. While that may seem high, the film needs to garner well over two billion dollars to match the first film.

Furthering Disney’s woes, the James Cameron film has underperformed expectations in the all-important Chinese market as the movie grossed only $57.1 million in its first weekend when it was expected to hit $120 million.

PROGRESSIVE MOVIE CRITIC FREAKS OUT OVER NEW AVATAR FILM, THE INTERNET’S REACTION IS PRICELESS

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The first Avatar set an expectation for Hollywood to pursue the one billion person audience 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.

The Walt Disney Company has suffered the past two years as it has engaged in political fights with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), seen changes in leadership from Bob Iger to Bob Chapek and back again, and been boycotted by many conservatives. The inability of the new Avatar film to do as successful as its predecessor is just another instance of Disney losing touch with its audience. 

The company’s stock has fallen to $85 a share from a 52-week high of $160 a share. That’s a 46 percent decrease. If the company wants to continue to be profitable amongst domestic audiences, it may want to pivot its business strategy and stay out of politics.

While the new Avatar film is suffering domestically it is still possible for it to recover, however, it is unlikely that it will reach the heights of its predecessor. Ultimately, the Avatar trilogy’s success hinges on The Way of Water’s longevity in theaters, and if David Cameron wants to continue his franchise, he better hope that audiences make it to theaters next weekend.

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