James Cameron's Avatar took in 41.3 million dollars in the US at the weekend.
The sci-fi epic's weekend haul helped it shoot past Star Wars as the No 3 movie on the all-time domestic box office charts.
No 1 for the fifth straight weekend, the Golden Globe-winning movie - which stars Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington - raised its total in America to 491.8 million dollars and should top 500 million after revenues are counted, according to studio estimates.
Worldwide, the film lifted its total to 1.6 billion dollars, second only to Cameron's last movie, 1997's Titanic, at 1.8 billion.
Avatar topped the original Star Wars, which took in 460.9 million in the States in its original run and several reissues over the years. But factoring in today's higher admission prices, Star Wars remains well ahead of Avatar on actual number of tickets sold.
Avatar is now closing in on The Dark Knight, No 2 in America with 533.3 million dollars.
After that, only Cameron's Titanic, at 600 million dollars, will remain ahead of Avatar in the US.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday to Sunday at US and Canadian theatres are according to Hollywood.com.