James Cameron's Avatar had a $41.3 million weekend to shoot past Star Wars as the No. 3 movie on the all-time domestic box office charts. Next stop, The Dark Knight, then Cameron's own Titanic. No. 1 for the fifth-straight weekend, Cameron's sci-fi saga raised its domestic total to $491.8 million and should top $500 million after revenues are counted on Martin Luther King Day, according to studio estimates.
Worldwide, Avatar lifted its total to $1.6 billion, 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 domestically 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.