Avatar sequel falls short of box office predictions

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STORY: The long-awaited "Avatar" sequel fell short of ticket sales forecasts on its debut weekend.

However box office experts said it was too soon to judge whether the movie would recoup its huge costs.

"Avatar: The Way of Water" racked up roughly $435 million around the globe, distributor Disney said.

Making $134 million in the United States and Canada.

Pre-release, it was predicted to make $140 million domestically and as much as $500 million worldwide.

Director James Cameron said the movie, a return to the world of the blue Na’vi people, needs to make $2 billion to break even.

Disney has not disclosed the budget and marketing costs.

Despite failing to reach projections, its global total made it the third highest Hollywood opening of the health crisis.

That's according to analytics firm Comscore.

And analysts said it could draw large family audiences over the holiday period.

With one expert describing the second Avatar instalment as “built for the long haul.”