‘Avatar’ Beats ‘Titanic’ In Overseas Box Office

James Cameron's latest is set to beat his 1997 epic in worldwide gross early this week.

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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