King of the World indeed. As of Wednesday (February 3), James Cameron's box-office smash [movie id="301495"]"Avatar"[/movie] is officially the highest-grossing domestic box-office release in U.S. history. Cameron's [movie id="115762"]"Titanic"[/movie] was the previous record holder, with $600.8 million in ticket sales.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox revealed Wednesday morning that the "Avatar" number is now up to $601.2 million, which is enough to put last year's 3-D trip to the alien world of Pandora on top.
The news comes a day after "Avatar" earned nine Oscar nominations and just a week after Cameron shattered the two other big records set by his 1997 film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Over a two-day period, "Avatar" claimed first the record for the top-grossing overseas release of all time (i.e. everywhere except North America) and then became the top-grossing worldwide release of all time, with a staggering total box office of $1.86 billion, a number that has only grown since then.
(For a look at "Avatar" numbers adjusted for inflation, head here.)
The news comes on the heels of comments yesterday about the planned "Avatar" sequel by News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch during a quarterly earnings call, THR reported. He said that Fox is in "very early talks" and that Cameron "has ideas" for the sequel (as MTV News readers already know). While Murdoch made clear that "we will be pushing for this one," he also tried to temper expectations, advising analysts not to "hold your breath for an early one."
In the same conference call it was also revealed that "60 percent or more of the profit from 'Avatar' will come in over the next two quarters," referring of course to the coming home video release of the film. Murdoch said that a DVD would arrive sometime before June 30 — when the company's current fiscal year closes — but that it wouldn't be a 3-D release, because the technology is not there yet. The company isn't ruling out the possibility of a more full-featured home-video offering "down the road."
Check out everything we've got on "Avatar."
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