Over the course of the weekend, James Cameron‘s Avatar was on track to beat Titanic‘s record and become the top-grossing film of all time. The numbers have been verified, and Avatar‘s worldwide gross stands at over $1.292 billion dollars, which tops Titanic‘s $1.242 billion. The domestic record hasn’t yet fallen — by Sunday Avatar was still about $50m shy of Titanic‘s $600.8m US gross. About 70% of Avatar‘s revenue comes from foreign markets, compared to Titanic‘s 67%.
High 3D ticket prices have helped Avatar reach that total, without a doubt. But so have Russia and China, which weren’t nearly as powerful movie markets for US films when Titanic was in theaters. Avatar is the biggest-grossing film of all time in those markets, as well as the highest-grossing American film ever to play in India. Chances that anyone will ever again doubt James Cameron have fallen significantly.
Not an Avatar fan? Take comfort in the fact that, when adjusted for inflation, Gone With the Wind is still the box office champ, with a $400m worldwide gross in 1939 translating to $6b today. Titanic‘s 1997 gross would be worth $2.5b total. [THR]