Disney is reporting that Thursday night previews for Avatar: The Way of Water took in $17 million. Deadline was first to report, adding that the foreign total from 44 markets–not including China–is around $50.4 million.
Reviews for the film have so far been mixed–many critics who disliked the first were surprised to find James Cameron’s follow-up engaging, but there are just as many who had an opposite reaction. In GameSpot’s review, Mason Downey thought the film had incredibly beautiful shots, but failed to live up to its legacy as a bleeding edge spectacle. You can read our full review roundup of the three-hour movie over here.
As recently as September, Cameron was saying he has no idea whether the film will be a success–though the first teaser trailer racking up 150 million views in its first day bodes well. The Hollywood Reporter has projected the current box office estimates to suggest that China’s preview grosses could open to an additional $70 to $120 million–a number that is uncertain, due to a major COVID-19 outbreak there.