‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Overtakes ‘Titanic’ as Third-Highest Grossing Movie of All Time

James Cameron’s blockbuster epic “Titanic” has relinquished its spot as the third-highest grossing movie in history to another James Cameron blockbuster epic, “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

The sci-fi sequel has generated $2.2433 billion globally, enough to overtake “Titanic” with $2.2428 billion at the worldwide box office. Now, “The Way of Water” trails only “Avatar” ($2.92 billion) and “Avengers: Endgame” ($2.7 billion) on all-time box office charts. Cameron, the sole filmmaker with three movies to gross $2 billion or more, has directed the first, third and fourth biggest releases ever.

Like the original “Avatar,” the follow-up’s success is attributed to its generation-spanning appeal as well as the incentive to watch the film in premium and 3D formats. On Imax screens, the movie has crossed $250 million. That’s more coinage than many films manage to earn in their entire theatrical runs.

In North America, “The Way of Water” is the ninth-highest grossing movie with $657 million to date. In order to fly higher on the all-time domestic charts, it’ll have to take down “Titanic” (at No. 8 with $659 million) and “Avengers: Infinity War” (at No. 7 with $678 million).

Elsewhere, “Avatar 2” recently passed “Titanic” to become the third-highest grossing international release with $1.585 billion. It’s behind only 2009’s “Avatar” ($2.1 billion) and “Avengers: Endgame” ($1.9 billion) in terms of overseas ticket sales. Standout markets include China ($242 million), France ($144 million), Germany ($135 million) and Korea ($106 million).

Disney and 20th Century spent roughly $460 million to produce and promote “The Way of Water,” which is one of the most expensive films ever. The long-delayed sequel opened on the big screen in December and has remained in the top five on box office charts for 10 consecutive weeks. Zoe Saldaña and Sam Worthington star in the otherworldly saga about family. A third installment is set to debut in December 2024 with plans for fourth and fifth entries in the coming years.

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