In a stunning achievement in less than two months, James Cameron’s Oscar-nominated blockbuster “Avatar” has become the highest grossing motion picture of all time. On Tuesday, “Avatar” surpassed the $600,788,188 Cameron’s own Academy Award-winning “Titanic” grossed in 1998 with a new cume of $601,141,551.
“Avatar” had already set the global record becoming the first film to pull in over $2 billion. The current worldwide gross now stands at $2,048,130,844.
Where “Avatar’s” finally tally lands is still unclear. The film received nine Oscar nominations yesterday including Best Picture and Best Director, but will lose a good chunk of its lucrative higher-priced 3-D and IMAX screens to “Alice in Wonderland” on March 5. That will seriously curtail it’s box office trajectory. However, $700-750 million isn’t out of the question.
For some perspective, “Avatar” has a long way to go on the all time greats adjusted for ticket price inflation. Currently at No. 21 on that list, “Gone with the Wind,” “Star Wars,” “The Sound of Music” and “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” are just a few of the films it would need to jump ahead of to truly make history. And an even more sobering thought on how high ticket prices have risen, “Titanic,” which was released only 12 years ago is No. 6 on the adjusted list.
The phenomenon will also face it’s first challenge at the top of the weekend box office on Friday as the highly anticipated Nicolas Sparks melodrama “Dear John” hits theaters. It will be a very close call to see who wins the Super Bowl weekend box office.