The first teaser trailer for James Cameron’s sequel Avatar: The Way of Water rode a huge wave of interest when debuting online early Monday after playing exclusively in cinemas over the weekend.
The teaser finished its first 24-hour online window with 148.6 million views, including 23 million from China alone, according to Disney and 20th Century.
That’s ahead of all recent Star Wars films, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Like Avatar 2, the teaser trailer for that film also played exclusively in theaters first.
Avatar 2’s views on YouTube and across social media don’t include the millions of people watching the teaser on the big screen before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which opened to an enormous $180.5 million domestically and nearly $450 million overseas.
In terms of other comps for teasers following the same release pattern, Universal’s F9: The Fast Saga nabbed 202.7 million online views in its initial 24 hours. Avatar: The Way of Water comes in second, followed by Black Widow (116.8 million), Incredibles 2 (113.1 million), Rise of Skywalker (112.4 million), among other titles.
Cameron’s sequel, which hits theaters Dec. 16, centers on returning Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington, along with Na’vi Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldaña, and their family, and the lengths they go to keep each other safe.
Returning stars also include Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine and Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch, and big-name newcomers include Vin Diesel and Cameron’s Titanic star Kate Winslet.
Released in 2009, Cameron’s Avatar is the top-grossing film of all-time at the worldwide box office with $2.84 billion, not adjusted for inflation. The original Avatar will be rereleased in cinemas on Sept. 23, with restored picture and sound.
Watch the trailer below for Avatar: The Way of Water.