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Avatar replaces Titanic in record books

avatarTitanic just hit an iceberg named Avatar James Cameron’s sci-fi spectacular replaced his maritime melodrama as the biggest international release of all time during the weekend and is on the verge of claiming its worldwide crown, which also includes North American receipts, distributor 20th Century Fox said on Sunday.

The News Corp-owned studio said Avatar has sold $1.841 billion worth of tickets worldwide during its unbroken six-week reign, and was a day or so away from surpassing the seemingly insurmountable $1.843 billion racked up by Titanic in 1997-1998.

The international portion stands at $1.288 billion, eclipsing the $1.242 billion haul of Titanic

In North America, Avatar may have to wait up to two weeks to sink the $601 million total of Titanic, Fox said. Moviegoers in the United States and Canada have chipped in $552.8 million, enough to replace 2008’s The Dark Knight ($533 million) as the second-biggest movie of all time.

Data are not adjusted for inflation, and Avatar ticket sales got an additional boost from premium pricing for 3-D screenings. Imax Corp aid its big-screen engagements have sold a record $134 million worth of tickets worldwide.

The biggest movie of all time in North America — adjusted for inflation — is 1939’s Gone with the Wind with sales of almost $1.5 billion, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo. Avatar ranks No. 26 by that measure.

AVATAR rules in France, China

During the latest weekend, Avatar earned $36 million in North America and $107 million from 111 international markets, far outpacing other offerings.

It led the field in at least 29 foreign markets, including France ($123 million to date), China ($102 million), Germany ($96 million), Russia ($95 million) and Britain ($93 million).

In North America, Avatar was trailed by the new supernatural action thriller Legion at No 2 with $18.2 million, while the Denzel Washington drama The Book of Eli slipped to No 3 with $17 million in its second weekend.

Legion, released by Sony Corp’s Screen Gems budget label, cost about $25 million to make, and played primarily to men, the studio said. Paul Bettany, Lucas Black and Tyrese Gibson star in the tale of an of-the-way diner that becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race.

Eli, a similarly themed apocalyptic drama released by Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. Pictures on behalf of independent producer Alcon Entertainment, has earned $62 million after 10 days.

Two other films opened in the top-10: Fox’s Dwayne Johnson family film The Tooth Fairy at No 4 with a promising $14.5 million, and the Harrison Ford medical drama Extraordinary Measures at No 7 with a disappointing $7 million.

Extraordinary Measures is the debut release of CBS Corp’s CBS Films, which said its fact-based storyline about a father trying to save the lives of his children made it a tough sell. Older audiences in the Midwest and mountain areas were the primary demographic, the studio said.

Fox said Tooth Fairy played well across the board, despite or because of its depiction of former wrestler Johnson, aka. The Rock in a tutu and wings.

“It’s a very sweet, wonderful message movie,” said Chris Aronson, Fox’s senior Vice-president of domestic distribution.

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