It was only a matter of time, of course. But over the weekend, the inevitable became official. James Cameron has now outdone himself, at least in terms of box-office lucre.
In just six weeks, Avatar has broken Titanic's 12-year stranglehold on the record for world-wide ticket sales, and it is now officially the highest-grossing movie of all time. 20th Century Fox confirmed that the world-wide record fell on Monday, just two days after the overseas record fell.
Key to Avatar's success was not only the extra revenue from 3-D and IMAX screenings, but also its unprecedented appeal to audiences almost everywhere on the globe. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Avatar is now the all-time box-office record holder in China, Spain, Russia, Hong Kong, and Chile. Taken together, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom account for more than $300 million in ticket sales. In fact, almost 70 percent of Avatar's current gross has come from international screenings.
But interestingly enough, there's also the inflation factor, which puts Avatar's success into perspective. If Titanic's gross were adjusted for today's dollar value, it would still be ahead at more than $2.5 billion.
And guess what? Titanic still wouldn't be the winner; in fact, it wouldn't even be close. That honor would go to Gone With the Wind, which raked in around $400 million in 1939. That amount would be worth roughly $6 billion today.