'Avatar' shatters records, sinks 'Titanic'

It's been less than two months since Avatar hit theaters, and it's broken nearly every box office record set. This week, Avatar has officially eclipsed the previous top grossing film, Titanic, in both domestic and worldwide receipts. And it took less than two months!

According to Box Office Mojo, Avatar has made over $600 million domestically, and over $2 billion worldwide. In America, it only squeaked by Titanic at less than half a million more, but that's as of yesterday. Over the weekend, Avatar will probably jump ahead of Titanic by at least a few million dollars. Internationally, Avatar has already made $200 million more than Titanic did.

Titanic was in theaters for 41 weeks. Avatar has been in theaters for less than 7. In fairness, theater tickets cost a bit more than they did in 1997, and many moviegoers saw Avatar in the more expensive IMAX format. Also, in terms of historically adjusted box office returns, Avatar hasn't actually broken the top 20. No matter how you look at it, though, any movie making this much money this quickly is extremely impressive.

This could mean a bright future for 3D. Avatar was basically purely eye-candy, and that so many people willingly paid a premium to see the movie in 3D and in IMAX is an indicator that good 3D might have a future. If the Blu-ray Disc release of Avatar incorporates 3D technology, it could be the big shove needed for make 3D compatibility on HDTVs a genuinely desired feature instead of just a vague gimmick.

Will Greenwald