‘Avatar’ sinks box office record

Film to beat 'Titanic' at domestic b.o. by Wed.

James Cameron is about to sink his own ship.

According to 20th Century Fox, “Avatar” should surpass previous record holder “Titanic” no later than Wednesday to become the all-time highest grossing film at the domestic box office.

With pic’s cume at $595.8 million as of Sunday, higher 3D ticket prices are helping “Avatar” quickly close in on “Titanic’s” $600.8 million benchmark.

“Avatar” already became the highest-grossing film worldwide with $2.04 billion.

Led by “Avatar,” Fox Intl. has already cumed $1.02 billion overseas since Jan. 4. Fantasy epic has generated $1.45 billion at the international B.O., enough to make it the highest foreign grosser ever.

The overseas arm now has three of the top five highest-grossing films of all time internationally, including No. 2 “Titanic” with $1.24 billion and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” with $691.3 million at No. 4.

“Avatar” has shown phenomenal staying power at the domestic B.O., slipping just 10% to $31 million — enough to top its seventh consecutive frame.

While previous record holder “Titanic” stayed at the top for 15 consecutive weeks, pic took longer to rise, earning no more than $35.5 million in any given weekend. By its seventh frame, “Titanic” had grossed only $314.3 million domestically.

With “Avatar” surpassing “Titanic” in such a short amount of time, observers are left to wonder how high the 3D behemoth can go.

Though “Avatar” will eventually be toppled by a fresh opener, the pic may cling to the frame’s top 10 for some time. “Titanic” continued to play until mid-September 1998 after its bow on Dec. 17, 1997.

A crowded slate over the Feb. 12 weekend should provide stiff competition for “Avatar,” with Warner Bros.’ release of romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day,” Universal’s “The Wolfman” and Fox’s kidlit adaptation “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”

If grosses were adjusted for inflation, “Avatar” would likely fall to around No. 21 on the all-time box office chart, while “Titanic” is closer to the top at No. 6, according to BoxOfficeMojo. “Gone With the Wind” is still tops.

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