Two down, one to go. On Tuesday (January 26), James Cameron's "Avatar" officially pushed past the record for the top-grossing worldwide release of all-time, set by the director's 1997 movie "Titanic." The achievement comes just a day after "Avatar" bested "Titanic" as the best international release (not including North America) of all-time. All that remains for "Avatar" is the #1 spot on the all-time domestic chart, where "Titanic" currently sits with $601 million.
The record-breaking worldwide figure — $1.858 billion, to the "Titanic" number of $1.843 billion — took just 39 days to secure. That's quite a jump over the 41 weeks it took Cameron's doomed love story to reach the lower number.
Of course, part of that is accounted for by the increased ticket cost. Standard admission prices are higher now than they were in 1997, and "Avatar" is particularly expensive since the 3-D screenings demand an even higher price. An impressive 72 percent of the global box office for "Avatar" came from those more expensive tickets, according to Exhibitor Relations box-office analyst Jeff Bock.
"Avatar" came out of this past weekend with an overseas box-office haul of $1.288 billion, breaking the first of three all-time gross records held by Cameron's famed sunken cruise ship. Combined with U.S. ticket sales, the total became $1.841 billion, just $2 million shy of the $1.843 billion "Titanic" figure. Few, if any, doubted that the blue aliens of Pandora would put another record behind them by Tuesday.
Domestically, "Avatar" beat out "The Dark Knight" for the all-time #2 spot on Monday, topping the Caped Crusader's $533 million haul with $552.8 million in ticket sales. Adjusting for Monday night's figures, that number now rests at $554.9 million. That's less than $50 million away from the $600.7 million "Titanic" number. As long as the brisk weekend business continues for "Avatar" — which it should, considering that the next 3-D competition is March release "Alice in Wonderland" — we can expect "Avatar" to claim the domestic record within the next two or three weeks.
Check out everything we've got on "Avatar."
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