'Avatar: The Way of Water' tops local box office on day of release

A movie theater in Seoul displays the poster for ″Avatar : Way of Water″ on Wednesday. [YONHAP]

"Avatar: The Way of Water" topped the box office in Korea on the first day of its premiere Wednesday, 13 years after "Avatar" hit theaters worldwide.

The film recorded a total of 359,000 moviegoers in the country, according to the Korea Film Council’s data network of movie theater ticket purchases.

This is a higher figure than that of its prequel "Avatar" (2009) but lower than that of "The Roundup" (2022), which topped the box office this year. The number of moviegoers on the premiere day for "The Roundup" was 467,000.

It is a lower-than-expected figure as the film was anticipated to gather around 450,000 moviegoers, but more ticket purchases are expected over the weekend.

Ticket reservations rose to 967,000 tickets as of 7:45 a.m. Thursday.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is a sequel to the 2009 epic sci-fi film “Avatar” directed by James Cameron. The film revolves around the journey that Jake Sully and his family go on as they try to find a new home.