'Avatar' is officially the new King of the World
James Cameron's film is the highest-grossing of all time worldwide -- discounting inflation and fatter ticket prices for 3-D.
"Avatar" entered Monday needing a mere $2 million to eclipse the $1.842 billion mark set by "Titanic" in 1998. James Cameron directed both films.
Averaging nearly $4 million a day in weekday performances of late just in North America, the 3-D film broke the record before midday Monday on the U.S. East Coast.
On Sunday, Fox announced that "Avatar" had reached $1.29 billion in foreign receipts, making it the top international grosser ever.
With $551.7 million in domestic ticket sales, the film should also surpass "Titanic's" $600.8 million North American record by the end of the upcoming weekend.
"Avatar" passed "The Dark Knight" ($533.3 million) for second place on the domestic list last weekend.
Of course, adjusting for inflation, the revenue picture looks quite different.
According to tracking firm Box Office Mojo, with inflation factored in, "Avatar" ranks only 26th in North American gross. The all-time leader on this list is "Gone With the Wind," which has an adjusted domestic total of $1.48 billion. "Star Wars" is in second place with $1.3 billion.
Also not factored in are "Avatar's" premium 3-D ticket prices, which are, on average, about $3 per unit more than standard 2-D admissions.
For its part, distributor Fox, owned by News Corp., should ultimately see about $920 million in profit from "Avatar" before director Cameron gets his cut, according to one film-business analyst.
That's enough to make a difference to News Corp.'s bottom line, rare for a single film. The media conglomerate has reported losses of $3 billion over the past 12 months.
Rupert Murdoch predicted as much, saying in November:
"I am confident moviegoers will be as moved as I was by James Cameron's 'Avatar.'"
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