As of Monday morning (January 25), James Cameron's "Avatar" is now the top-grossing international release of all time. Following the weekend's ticket sales, the sprawling sci-fi epic slipped past Cameron's 1997 hit "Titanic" in overseas earnings (not including North America), with $1.288 billion compared to the tale of the doomed cruise ship's $1.242 billion, Reuters reported.
For six weeks now, ever since it was released in theaters on December 18, "Avatar" has ruled the box office. Described in pre-release propaganda as a "game-changer" for Hollywood, the spectacle-driven 3-D adventure is certainly living up to expectations. It picked up Golden Globes for Best Picture/Drama and Best Director, and it has now officially begun the process of sinking Cameron's "Titanic."
Only two all-time records remain to be topped — both belonging to "Titanic" — and now it's become more a question of "when" than "if." The weekend haul leaves "Avatar" with $1.841 billion earned worldwide (North America included), which is so close behind the "Titanic" figure of $1.843 billion that it may surpass it by later Monday.
It will take slightly longer for the $601 million domestic record held by "Titanic" to fall. "Avatar" took in $36 million at domestic box offices this weekend, bringing the total North American gross to $552.8 million. That wasn't enough to take #1, but it was almost $20 million more than the previous #2 record of $533 million held since 2008 by "The Dark Knight."
The weekend figure of $36 million is just 15.9 percent less than "Avatar" earned in weekend five, a remarkably small drop for a box-office-leading movie that was released a month and a half ago. The domestic record held by "Titanic" likely won't be sunk by the end of next weekend, but with "Alice in Wonderland" — the next major 3-D release — not out until March 5, the #1 spot is all but secured.
Check out everything we've got on "Avatar."
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