'Avatar' officially overtakes 'Titanic' for global box office record

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 10:42am

It's official - "Avatar" is the new king of the world... or at least, the worldwide box office.

On Monday, the James Cameron-directed film passed Cameron's own "Titanic" as the highest grossing film of all-time, taking in $1.859 billion globally - after only 37 days in theaters.

"Titanic," released in 1997, held the previous record with $1.843 billion.

"We are deeply gratified that so many millions of people around the globe have embraced 'Avatar,'" Twentieth Century Fox - the studio behind the project — said in a statement on Tuesday. "Its success results from the efforts of literally thousands of people, who, over the course of several years, worked to bring James Cameron's vision of Pandora to life. The themes of protecting the environment, respecting life, and yearning for a peaceful planet have united moviegoers worldwide. We're very proud of, and grateful to, James Cameron, his amazing and dedicated team, and all the many people at Fox, who worked so long and so hard to achieve this milestone."

"Avatar," which won the Golden Globe for Best Picture, Drama earlier this month, has been number one at the box office for six straight weeks since its release on December 18, 2009.

It also received a Best Picture nomination at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and is expected to do the same when Oscar nominations are annouced on February 2.

Fans of the film have flocked to theaters since "Avatar's" release, especially the 3-D showings, which have brought in $1.35 billion of the film's total gross.

"I never thought I would live to see the day when 'Titanic's' record would fall, but not even 12 years later, here we are talking about it - and thanks to James Cameron, again," Access Hollywood's Scott "Movie" Mantz said.

However, Mantz did offer one caveat for "Avatar's" stunning success.

"To be fair, you've got to look at the ticket prices - these prices are so much more than they were for 'Titanic,' especially for the 3-D movies - and especially for a 3d movie in IMAX," he added. "And it's not like 'Up In The Air' or 'Spider-Man 3' made this much with a regular ticket pirce, so when all the dust settles, it's only fair to have that in the back of your mind."

And as for where "Avatar" will end up when its box office run comes to an end?

"It's going to gross at least $2.2 billion by the time it's over," Mantz predicted.

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