“Avatar” Hits $1 Billion Mark, Eyes “Titanic” Record

James Cameron's "Avatar" has reached the $1 billion mark at the box office — making it the "Titanic" director's second film to reach the lofty number.

The long-awaited 3D epic hit the milestone after only 17 days in release. It has earned $352 million domestically.

"Avatar's" numbers have been aided by higher ticket prices for 3D screenings, but the film has nevertheless proved itself a major hit after early worries that it would struggle to match its bulky budget, estimated in one New York Times report at $500 million.

1997's "Titanic" remains the top-grossing film of all time worldwide, with $1.8 billion.

Only a handful of films have ever passed the $1 billion marker — "Titanic," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and "The Dark Knight."

The final "Lord of the Rings" film earned $1.1 billion in its 2003 release, putting it in close proximity to "Avatar," which would still have to almost double its current take to catch up with "Titanic."

Should "Avatar" top "The Lord of the Rings," it will become the second highest-grossing film of all time, making Cameron responsible for the two top-grossing movies in history.

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