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Avatar: The Way of Water becomes the 7th highest-grossing movie of all time

After a slower start than expected, Avatar: The Way of Water is making waves at the box office. 

The blockbuster sequel from director James Cameron is now the seventh highest-grossing film in movie history after topping the box office for the fourth weekend in a row. It has grossed $1.7 billion globally, placing it above 2015's Jurassic World on the list of biggest movies of all time. 

With plenty of time left for The Way of Water to add to its earnings, only six films in history have grossed more worldwide than Cameron's sequel: Spider-Man: No Way HomeAvengers: Infinity War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Titanic, Avengers: Endgame, and the original Avatar, which remains the biggest movie of all time with a lifetime gross of $2.9 billion. 

This milestone for The Way of Water comes after initial headlines suggested the sequel might be a bit of a box office disappointment. It opened under expectations in December, grossing $134 million domestically in its first weekend when estimates suggested it could reach up to $175 million. But analysts noted at the time that Cameron's films tend to rely less on giant openings than on having strong legs in the following weeks.

That was also the case with The Way of Water, which has continued to draw audiences since its initial debut and just had the third-largest fourth weekend in movie history. Cameron recently confirmed the film has been successful enough for him to proceed with plans to make at least three more sequels.

"I can't wiggle out of this, I'm gonna have to do these other sequels," he joked. "I know what I'm going to be doing the next six or seven years."