Self-proclaimed "king of the world" director James Cameron has just overextended himself.
The filmmaker's sci-fi fantasy epic "Avatar" has surpassed his own 1997 record-setting disaster movie "Titanic" to become the highest-grossing movie ever, not accounting for ticket price inflation, foreign currency fluctuations and surcharges on 3-D screens.
Through Monday, "Avatar" racked up $1.85 billion in worldwide ticket sales, edging past "Titanic's" $1.84 billion -- a feat it achieved in less than 40 days, according to the film's distributor, 20th Century Fox.
"Avatar's" domestic take of $554.9 million still slightly trails "Titanic's" $600.7 million, but overseas it has taken in slightly more, $1.30 billion to the earlier film's $1.24 billion.
However, "Titanic" still rules the universe in terms of how many people went to see it compared to the number that have lined up for "Avatar."
In its sixth weekend, the movie dropped only 18% domestically and 16% internationally, according to Fox.
"Avatar" is still playing on 16,000 screens worldwide, with 72% of its ticket sales coming from 3-D screens.
We're now waiting to hear what Cameron will say at the Oscars on March 7 if he and "Avatar" take top honors. How about "I'm lord of the universe"?
The Los Angeles Times has contributed to the report.
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