27 Jan 2010

Avatar now highest-grossing movie

1:42 pm on 27 January 2010

Avatar has surpassed Titanic to become the highest-grossing movie ever worldwide.

20th Century Fox says Avatar surpassed Titanic in little over six weeks. World wide screenings began on 17 December.

Ticket sales reached $US1.859 billion on Monday, beating the $US1.843 billion achieved by Titanic in 1997-1998. The data is not adjusted for inflation.

Set in 2154, the movie tells the tale of a disabled ex-Marine sent to infiltrate a race of blue aliens and persuade them to allow mining of their homeland for natural resources.

It was partly filmed in Wellington by James Cameron, who has achieved the feat of directing the world's two biggest movies.

Avatar took more than five years to make with a budget reported at $US300 million.

The film won two Golden Globes last week for best dramatic picture and director and is expected to receive a number of Academy Award nominations next month.

It has reigned at the top of box office in North America for six weeks and has also led the field in France, China, Germany and Russia.