The worldwide box office total of Avatar is growing so fast our updates are quickly outdated. Yesterday, we reported that after twelve days in release, Avatar had reached $727 million, according to Box Office Mojo. As of this writing, the site shows the film at just shy of $750 million, but Deadline reports with seemingly more current data that Avatar already passed $800 million worldwide on Thursday. That is a lot of money for only two weeks in release. The film appears eager to pass $900 million over the weekend, and reach $1 billion mere days after that. More on Avatar‘s runaway success after the jump.
The most recent numbers we’ve seen suggest that after Thursday, the total is now at $283.8 million domestically and upwards of $550 million internationally. With estimates placing Avatar‘s domestic take this weekend between $50-$65 million, the film will breeze past $300 million domestically (and $900 million worldwide) in the next couple days. In doing so, it will outdo Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to become the number two film of 2009 in America, right behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Avatar will be a formidable challenge to Transformer‘s title, which earned $402.1 million domestically this year, but it has already outearned the Autobots abroad, as Transformers ended its run with an international cume of $432.9 million. Meanwhile, Avatar is fast approaching the overseas gross of Harry Potter ($627.4 million), the current leader in international ticket sales.
To put Avatar’s success in perspective concerning all-time box office records, Cameron’s Titanic has the top worldwide gross of $1.8 billion while Avatar currently sits at #31. In terms of domestic box office, Ttianic is also the record holder with $600 million. By comparison, Avatar currently sits at #43 on the list. Clearly, the film has a way to go but it’s only been in theaters for 14 days. The question comes down to competition. If you’re wondering how Titanic reached such a record gross, it’s wasn’t just popularity. Titanic was #1 at the box office for 15 consecutive weeks.
Sherlock Holmes has been its most serious competition so far, but no film currently in release is poised to overtake Avatar as cinema’s top earner. As January’s releases are traditionally on the lighter side, Avatar‘s success may go relatively unchallenged for quite some time. What will be the first movie to top Avatar: Leap Year on January 8th? The Book of Eli on January 15th? Iron Man 2 on May 7th? I joke, but it does seem increasingly likely that Avatar could wear the box office crown every week until February.
With such rapid success, it might be worth starting a daily “Avatar Watch” to keep you updated on how ridiculously well the sci-fi sensation is doing every new day. At the very least, stay tuned for box office news on Avatar (and other top ten movies) as part of our weekly weekend updates. We’ll make sure you’re informed as Avatar races toward (and then prances across) the magic $1 billion line.