Avatar sequel already one of the UK's top three biggest films of 2022

The most successful box office hits of last year are all sequels.

Avatar: The Way Of Water is on course to become one of the biggest releases of 2022 at the UK box office – though it may struggle to knock Top Gun: Maverick off the number one spot.

The science fiction epic was released just before Christmas and has already taken £45.0 million in cinemas in the UK and Ireland, new figures show.

It is currently the third biggest film of last year and is close behind the movie in second place, Minions: The Rise Of Gru, which is on £46.9 million.

But it has some way to go to match the enormous £83.6 million taken by the Tom Cruise action blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick.

(PA Graphics)

The Way Of Water is director James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel to 2009’s Avatar and once again uses cutting-edge technological effects to mix live action and digital animation.

The film has taken £45.0 million at the UK and Ireland box office in only three weeks, according to data published by the British Film Institute (BFI).

This is slightly below the £50.1 million taken by Top Gun: Maverick across its first three weeks of release in late May and early June 2022.

The success of The Way Of Water means the current top three biggest films of 2022 are all sequels, with Top Gun: Maverick coming 36 years after the original Top Gun in 1986, while Minions: The Rise Of Gru follows seven years after the first Minions movie.

Another sequel is sitting in fourth place in the chart: Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (£42.1 million), which is a follow-up to the 2016 film Doctor Strange.

In fifth place is The Batman, the latest reboot of the Batman franchise, on £40.8 million.