'Avatar 2' faces first big box office challenge in James Wan's horror film 'M3GAN'
James Cameron's 'Avatar: The Way of Water' has enjoyed smooth sailing at the box office thus far, but that might change with James Wan-produced horror film 'M3GAN'. Directed by Gerard Johnstone and penned by Akela Cooper, the film has Allison Williams's Gemma being saddled with the responsibility of an orphaned 8-year-old niece, Cady (Violet McGraw). To make her life easier, she gets the little girl an AI-powered doll to protect her. However, it all goes haywire, when the titular doll goes bananas, hurting people who she wrongly deems as threats to the child. The movie will release in the United States and Canada on January 6.
As per early predictions, the film is set to make $17-$20 million in its opening weekend, reported Collider. Based on a story by Cooper and Wan, the film also stars Ronny Chieng, and Brian Jordan Alvarez.
The official synopsis of the film reads, "M3GAN is a marvel of artificial intelligence, a life-like doll programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. Designed by brilliant toy-company roboticist Gemma (Get Out’s Allison Williams), M3GAN can listen and watch and learn as she becomes friend and teacher, playmate and protector, for the child she is bonded to. When Gemma suddenly becomes the caretaker of her orphaned 8-year-old niece, Cady (Violet McGraw, The Haunting of Hill House), Gemma’s unsure and unprepared to be a parent. Under intense pressure at work, Gemma decides to pair her M3GAN prototype with Cady in an attempt to resolve both problems—a decision that will have unimaginable consequences."
'The Way of Water', meanwhile, has grossed $1.44 billion, which is just shy of $1.48 billion of 'Top Gun: Maverick', the highest-grossing movie of 2022. A sequel to 2009's 'Avatar', it continues the story of the Sully family and introduces new adventures for Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) a paraplegic marine who sided with the Na’vi in the conflict against humans in the original and became one of the tall, lithe, and blue-hued natives himself. He and his Na’vi wife Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have children now: three of theirs and two adopted. The stakes are higher than ever before. Oh, and an old foe is back in a different, er, avatar.
'Avatar: The Way of Water' has received positive reviews. On the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, the film scored 77 percent. Wion's review of the film read, "Basically, I have the same complaints with ‘The Way of Water’ that I had with the original ‘Avatar’. No one in their right mind would take exception to his vision, but beneath all that eye candy, the film has a painfully conventional story involving conventional characters told in a traditional Cameron way. The director has never been an impressive deviser of complex, gripping plots and characters beyond the surface level. He does have the uncanny ability to build exciting narratives around action set pieces, and 'The Way of Water' is no exception. 'The Way of Water' is, in effect, a typical Cameron movie with all its glories and downfalls.'