"Avatar" breaks $2 billion at worldwide box office

Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:18pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Avatar" ventured further into rarefied territory at the worldwide box office during the weekend, surpassing the $2 billion mark days after it broke the record held by "Titanic."

James Cameron's 3-D sci-fi spectacular has grossed $2.039 billion after seven chart-topping weekends of release, distributor 20th Century Fox said on Sunday.

The film last Monday smashed the $1.843 billion record set in 1998 by the filmmaker's "Titanic."

The News Corp.-owned studio declined to forecast where the film would end up, since it expected Tuesday morning's Oscar nominations to spur a new wave of interest.

It did predict that "Avatar" would break "Titanic's" North American record of $601 million by Wednesday. The film moved to $594.5 million after a $30 million weekend in the United States and Canada.

The foreign total stands at $1.45 billion after a $95 million weekend from 120 countries. It remained No. 1 in many of them, including France (sales to date: $134 million), China ($126 million), Australia ($84 million) and Brazil ($43 million).

The one caveat to the "Avatar" records is that sales are not adjusted for inflation, or for the fact that ticket prices were considerably higher for 3-D screenings.


While "Avatar" is expected to figure prominently in the Oscar nominations, especially in the technical categories, it has been overshadowed during awards season by "The Hurt Locker," a low-budget war film directed by Cameron's ex-wife. Kathryn Bigelow added another trophy to her collection on Saturday at the Directors Guild of America Awards. Only six times in 62 years has the DGA winner not gone on to take the Oscar for best director.   Continued...