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Source: Walt Disney Studios

Disney is expected to get $30 million in worldwide ticket sales from its theatrical re-release of the 2009 movie Avatar.

While domestic ticket sales, which will reach $ 10 million, according to forecasts, are in line with analysts’ expectations, it is the international figure of $ 20 million that has caused the furor of box office analysts.

The 20th Century Studio re-release has come to be seen as a kind of real test of whether audiences still want to visit the eco-conscious sci-fi world created by James Cameron. “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the first of four sequels to the original film, is scheduled for release in December.

“This weekend’s results are solid given the movie’s exclusive 3D release, and should bode well for the release of the most significant sequel in December,” said Shawn Robbins, chief media analyst at BoxOffice.com.

It’s clear there’s still public interest in “Avatar,” box office analysts agreed after seeing the expected numbers on Sunday. However, it is still up in the air whether that interest will translate into ticket sales in December, especially for 3D shows.

“There are still questions to be answered,” Robbins said. “We can’t say with confidence that the public appetite here has provided enough real testing for exclusive 3D releases given how re-releases have generally performed in recent years.”

Robbins noted that it may be important for Disney to offer a variety of screen options, including 2D on premium screens like IMAX, along with its push towards 3D. While there was a small window in the wake of the first release of “Avatar” in which audiences gravitated heavily towards 3D shows, that has diminished in the past decade.

However, this would not be a problem at the international level. 3D technology has remained exceptionally popular in overseas markets, especially in China. And it is important to remember that “Avatar” made the bulk of its money outside the United States – a whopping $2.08 billion.

Generating twice the volume of ticket sales internationally, compared to domestic numbers, suggests audiences supporting “Avatar” to the top of the box office charts are more likely to return for “The Way of Water.”

“Impressively there is still huge public interest in the ‘Avatar’ franchise on the big screen,” said Paul DeGarabedian, Senior Media Analyst at Comscore. “The $20.5 million earned this weekend internationally makes a strong case for the potential of the new film’s massive worldwide debut in December.”