On Pandora, the shores are alive with the sound of records breaking. As Avatar: The Way of Water continues to crush as a new movie release in theaters, worldwide grosses are propelling co-writer/director James Cameron’s latest film to quite lofty heights. Should this movie take the top spot of the highest-grossing theatrical release, it’ll be an impressive feat. However, it might still pale to the fact that Kate Winslet broke Tom Cruise’s previous record for underwater breath-holding.
The record is something that’s surely made the Titanic actor smile, and in an interview with USA Today (opens in new tab), Winslet shared this funny take on being the current champ in that arena:
It’s a story that has definitely made the rounds throughout the press tour for Avatar 2. Kate Winslet even told our own Sean O’Connell that she was inspired by the success of the first Avatar to conquer that very record, and it sounds like she wants to do it again. Though if you look a bit further back in the press cycle for The Way of Water, you can see why Tom Cruise might be tired of hearing this story.
During the production of the first of four planned/six possible Avatar sequels, producer Jon Landau hyped Winslet’s underwater abilities rather excitedly. So at the very least, you’re looking at a year or two of Avatar: The Way of Water teasing yet another record it was going to surpass. This could mean cinematic war, as the return of Jake Sully and The Sky People has taken so little time to make itself known as major competition for the highest-grossing film of 2022.
Tom Cruise’s golden child of 2022, Top Gun: Maverick, is still currently sitting on the top of this year’s worldwide releases with an estimated $1.5 billion in the bank. That result was through a year that showed the theatrical experience still holds sway, and thanks to several re-releases boosting the numbers as well. Meanwhile, in two weeks of release, Avatar: The Way of Water has clocked a global haul of $1.1 billion; with this weekend possibly seeing the Na’vi beat Maverick for the crown.
Honestly, if one were to ask Mr. Cruise about this supposed rivalry, he’d probably show hearty respect for James Cameron, Kate Winslet, and the rest of the Avatar crew. He’d also probably go back to the drawing board and try to figure out how to push Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One to be a potential challenger to The Way of Water.
But you could still imagine Tom Cruise heading into the office, trademark smile and laugh in play, knowing that he’s not the only person trying to push stunts and cinema to new heights. Maybe James Cameron should think about trying to get Maverick on board for a future Avatar sequel. The stars are the limit, as you’ll discover when you see Avatar: The Way of Water in a theater near you. If you need a quick refresher on the previous history of Pandora, your Disney+ subscription is all you need to make the jump back.