'Avatar' rules with $68.3M, tops $1B worldwide

James Cameron's science-fiction epic "Avatar" had another stellar weekend with $68.3 million domestically, shooting past $1 billion worldwide, only the fifth movie ever to hit that mark.


No. 1 for the third-straight weekend, 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" raised its domestic total to $352.1 million after just 17 days. The film added $133 million overseas to lift its international haul to $670 million, for a worldwide gross of $1.02 billion.


"Avatar" opened two weekends earlier with $77 million, a strong start but far below dozens of other blockbusters that debuted as high as $158 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 worldwide.


"Avatar" has had a price advantage over those other billion-dollar movies. About 75 percent of its domestic business has come from theaters showing it in digital 3-D presentation, those tickets typically costing a few dollars more than admissions for the 2-D version.

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