LOS ANGELES – “Avatar: The Way of Water” continued its box office dominance for a second consecutive weekend, taking in $56 million in North America as dangerous winter storms across large parts of the country kept business slow at movie theaters, according to industry estimates released Sunday.
Director James Cameron’s long-awaited follow-up to his 2009 special effects blockbuster was far ahead of “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” a “Shrek” spinoff that opened with $11.3 million Friday through Sunday for second place, Comscore reported.
The Whitney Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” opened in third place with $5.3 million.
Director Damien Chazelle’s 3-hour “Babylon,” starring Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, opened to just $3.5 million, an extremely disappointing figure for a film with a reported budget of $80 million.
Fifth place went to the Christmas comedy “Violent Night,” which grossed $3.1 million in its fourth week in theaters.
Rounding out the top 10 domestic releases, as estimated by Comscore, were “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” ($3 million), “The Whale” ($924,329), “The Menu” ($617,000), “The Fabelmans” ($550,000) and “Strange World” ($410,000).
This weekend’s overall three-day box office haul was estimated at $85.9 million. The year-to-date total is up to $7.234 billion — an increase of 68% over the figure at this time last year, according to Comscore.