'Avatar' Primed To Be #2 All-Time Box-Office Earner

With 'Titanic' still holding the top spot, James Cameron would have the two highest-grossing movies worldwide.

The astounding box-office success of James Cameron's sci-fi epic "Avatar" continues to shatter all expectations. Thursday morning (January 7) brings word from 20th Century Fox, via Deadline Hollywood, that the movie's worldwide gross will land it in the #2 spot for all-time box-office performers as early as this evening.

The #1 spot for both domestic and worldwide grosses has been occupied by Cameron's "Titanic" since 1997. "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" is #2 on the worldwide list with $1.119 billion in box-office sales. "Avatar" currently sits just south of $1.1 billion, leaving a tiny $20 million gap, relatively speaking, between it and second-place honors.

Deadline Hollywood also reports that the current domestic gross for "Avatar" is slightly more than $374 million. That's not enough to earn it a spot in the all-time domestic top 10, but it's close. "Avatar" sits at #12 for the time being; "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" sits at #10 with $380 million. It's still a ways off from the $600 million earned by "Titanic," but getting there is starting to feel more like a "when" than an "if."

Earlier this week, MTV News spoke to Exhibitor Relations box-office analyst Jeff Bock about the incredible performance of "Avatar." After just 17 days in release, the movie broke $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales. We wanted to hear from an expert about how the movie might continue to perform and what its chances were of breaking those "Titanic" records.

"The fact is, by the end of next weekend, 'Avatar' is going to be in the [all-time domestic] top 10 already," Bock said days ago. "And from there, it's just gonna chew all those up. It's gonna top 'The Dark Knight.' No doubt about it."

A mere 20 days into its theatrical life, "Avatar" is already on the short list as one of the biggest movies of all time. And there's still a good two months before "Alice in Wonderland," the next stiff 3-D competition, draws audiences away. Even if "Avatar" doesn't quite sink the doomed cruise ship in box-office records, it remains a no-lose proposition for Cameron.

Check out everything we've got on "Avatar."

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