Avatar breaks US box office record
James Cameron's Avatar has sailed past his blockbuster Titanic to become No 1 on the all-time US box office chart.
Avatar climbed to 601.1 million dollars, putting it a fraction ahead of the 600.8 million dollar American haul for Titanic.
With more than two billion dollars worldwide, Cameron's sci-fi sensation shattered the global box-office record of 1.84 billion dollars held by Titanic last week.
"When some said to us, 'How is it going to feel to knock off Titanic?' I think our response was, 'It's about time those guys got knocked off their perch'," said Cameron's producing partner Jon Landau, after Avatar picked up nine Academy Award nominations, including best picture.
"Lightning is not supposed to strike twice. And it has. And it's a pinch-me moment when you sit there and you hear that we're going to break another record. It's beyond anything that we could have imagined," he added.
Landau said he, Cameron and their collaborators have discussed sequel prospects but that nothing definite has been decided. Just before the release of Avatar in December, writer-director Cameron said he had the "broad strokes for two more films".
"This is set up to be a potential franchise," Cameron said. "It's not like I've got scripts two and three ready to go, and I want to start at the end of January. But it's definitely part of the game plan."