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Avatar Crowned Box Office King of the World

Jan 26, 2010 | 11:03am EST

Once again, James Cameron is king of the world. Barely six weeks into its theatrical run, Cameron’s sci-fi opus, Avatar, has officially been crowned the world’s all-time highest-grossing film. According to Paul Dergarabedian, President of Box Office at, the 3-D epic claimed the top honor sometime yesterday afternoon, when it surpassed the $1.843 billion global gross of another Cameron blockbuster, 1997’s Titanic. Avatar still has some work to do before it can claim stateside honors, however, as its domestic gross still lags about $46 million behind Titanic’s record $600 million tally. Avatar now sits at $1.859 billion.

Avatar’s stunning achievement comes with the usual set of caveats, of course. Higher ticket prices, especially for 3-D and IMAX showings, provided a significant boost to the film’s bottom line, and economic hair-splitters will be quick to note that Avatar’s inflation-adjusted numbers still rank well behind those of Gone With the Wind, whose domestic gross alone approaches $1.5 billion in today’s dollars — the movie industry equivalent of Cy Young’s untouchable record of 511 wins. To surpass that remarkable number, Avatar will have to maintain its current box office pace for roughly six more months.

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