Walt Disney Company Stock Falls Following “The Way of Water” Disappointing Debut
Avatar: The Way of Water did not prove to be the savior that inventors were hoping for last weekend. Following the film’s somewhat disappointing opening weekend returns, shares of the Walt Disney Co. fell 3% to $85.78 at the closing bell.
James Cameron’s long awaited sequel to 2009’s Avatar, The Way of Water earned a respectable $435 million worldwide, despite missing expectations in key markets.
Domestically, the epic grossed $134 million, which fell short of the tracking estimates of $150 to $175 million. According to insiders, Disney reduced its own projection to $130 to $150 million heading into the weekend.
More concerning for Disney however, was the films $57.1 million dollar opening weekend in China. While the first Avatar film was a massive success in that market, lingering concerns over COVID-19 may have dampened ticket sales.
Disney’s global head of theatrical distribution, Tony Chambers blamed the pandemic for the disappointing results. Chambers claimed “The problem is nobody wants to go to the cinema, because they’ve been told that COVID is extremely dangerous. Although cinemas are open, the appetite for going to them isn’t really there.”
While Disney, and investors may be disappointed in some of the returns, Avatar: The Way of Water has been critically lauded, which may help its legs at the box office.
The original Avatar film would eventually become the highest-grossing film of all time with a $2.9 billion dollar gross. That mark will obviously be tough for the Way of Water to match.
Be sure to check back in with MickeyBlog was we follow Avatar: The Way of Water’s run at the box-office.