'Avatar: The Way of Water' dominates North American box office on opening weekend

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James Cameron's epic science fiction film "Avatar: The Way of Water" dominated the North American box office with an estimated three-day cume of 134 million U.S. dollars on its opening weekend, data from measurement firm Comscore showed on Sunday.

Internationally, the long-awaited film also took in 301 million dollars this weekend for a global start of 435 million dollars, including over 57 million dollars from the Chinese mainland. It's the second-highest global opening of 2022 to date.

"Avatar: The Way of Water," distributed by Disney's 20th Century Studios, is the second installment in the Avatar film series directed by Cameron. It's the sequel to the 2009 blockbuster "Avatar," the highest-grossing film of all time at the global box office with 2.9 billion dollars.

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, "Avatar: The Way of Water" begins to tell the story of the Sully family, the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.

The film holds an approval rating of 77 percent based on 315 reviews to date on the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. It earned an "A" on an "A+" to "F" scale from audiences polled by the market research firm CinemaScore.

Disney and Marvel Studios' superhero film "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" came in second with 5.4 million dollars on its sixth weekend, pushing its North American cume to 419 million dollars for a worldwide total of 786.5 million dollars.

Rounding out the top three, Universal Pictures' Christmas action-comedy "Violent Night" generated 5 million dollars on its third weekend for a North American total of 34.96 million dollars. 

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