Fans attend a premiere for the film Avatar: The Way of Water, at Dolby theatre in Los Angeles, California
"Avatar: The Way of Water" pulled in $17 million at US and Canadian box offices from its first showings on Thursday night, distributor Walt Disney Co said.
Thursday's domestic tally is below recent Disney release "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," which racked up $28 million on its first night in domestic cinemas.
With international sales, the sequel to the highest-grossing movie of all time has generated $50.4 million at theaters around the globe since the movie started rolling out on Wednesday.
Hollywood's big question is whether "The Way of Water" can recoup its massive production and marketing costs. Studios split ticket sales with theaters, and Cameron told 'GQ' magazine that "The Way of Water" will need to make $2 billion just to break even.
"The Way of Water" was released 13 years after the first film wowed audiences with pioneering 3D technology. It remains the all-time box office champion with $2.9 billion in global ticket sales.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)