Avatar takes $1bn at box office
James Cameron's science-fiction epic Avatar had another stellar weekend with 68.3 million US dollars (£42.47 million) at the US box office, shooting past one billion US dollars (£0.62 billion) worldwide, only the fifth film ever to hit that mark.
Number one for the third-straight weekend, 20th Century Fox's Avatar raised its domestic total to 352.1 million US dollars (£218.91 million) after just 17 days.
The movie added 133 million US dollars (£82.68 million) overseas to lift its international haul to 670 million US dollars (£416.53 million), for a worldwide gross of 1.02 billion US dollars (£0.63 billion).
Avatar opened two weekends earlier with 77 million US dollars (£47.86 million), a strong start but far below dozens of other blockbusters that debuted as high as 158 million US dollars (£98.23 million).
But business for other blockbusters usually tumbles in following weekends, while Avatar revenues barely dropped over the busy Christmas and New Year's weekends.
Avatar was Cameron's first film since 1997's Titanic, the biggest modern blockbuster with 1.8 billion US dollars (£1.11 billion) worldwide.
Cameron now is the only filmmaker to direct two films that have topped one billion dollars (£0.62 billion).
Along with Titanic, the others are The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King at 1.13 billion US dollars (£0.70 billion), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at 1.06 billion US dollars (£0.65 billion) and The Dark Knight at a fraction over one billion US dollars (£0.62 billion), according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.