Avatar vs Titanic — What Will Be the Final Outcome?

he last two weekends saw the Avatar vs Titanic box office derby reach a point where Titanic finally began to beat Avatar on a “same day of run” basis, and so now that this “crossover” point has been achieved, it’s as good a time as any to take a look at where the two are now, and where Avatar is likely to end up. As of President’s Day Monday, Avatar had reached a total Domestic Gross of $666,388,502, while through the same number of days in release Titanic had reached 376,270,721. This means that Titanic still had $225M of business to go.

Avatar Hits $30M (Just Like We Predicted); Beats Estimates and Wins 7th Weekend Box Office Race; Now Within $6M of Titanic's US Domestic Record

The Sunday morning weekend studio estimates are out and Fox has Avatar pulling in $30M in its 7th frame, soundly thumping Mel Gibson’s Edge of Darkness ($17m) and When in Rome ($13M). This represents a drop of only 14% from the previous weekend, and is $4M higher than the average Friday prediction by the experts 0f $26m. Our prediction of $30m, published Friday, seems to have been spot on.

Avatar Wins 7th Friday Box Office With $7.5M; Edge of Darkness 2nd at $5.7M

Based on studio estimates Avatar has won Friday’s box office derby with $7.5M, a drop of only 17% from the previous Friday and a number that tracks with Avatar reaching a figure of $29M for the weekend — which is $2-3M higher than the $26m that was the average predicted by box office prophets across the spectrum going into the weekend. $29M would dethrone Titanic for the highest 7th weekend ever (Titanic notched $25m) and would leave Avatar $29M short of Titanic’s US record of $600.7M.

Rant: The Avatar Backlash Part II: This Time It's the "Let's Put an Asterisk By the Box Office Records" Backlash

Even as the “Avatar is only #24 in terms of tickets sold” backlash to the “Avatar has overtaken Titanic” storyline develops, some balance and sanity has been injected by a Wall Street Journal piece by Carl Bialik in which the author discusses the difficulty in comparing films from different eras – and if you do compare them, by what metrics?

Avatar #1: Oops, Let's Move the Goal Posts

No sooner had Avatar done the unthinkable — overtaking and surpassing Avatar as the #1 Box Office Hit of all time in terms of global box office gross — than the goal posts started getting moved, with most of the articles now starting to footnote the accomplishment with calculations of number of admissions rather than total box office gross as the new way of measuring the all time champ.

21-23 Weekend Box Office Wrap: Avatar Passes Titanic For # 1 Foreign Take, Other Records Fall

The Avatar juggernaut continued to roll during the 21-23 January weekend, and now with the actuals out it is confirmed that James Cameron’s sci-fi epic logged a U.S. gross of $34.9m (we had predicted $34m), off only 18 percent from the previous week — a pace that is in line with Titanic’s trend at the same point in its release and the lowest dropoff by far of any wide releases currently in theaters.

Producers Guild Picks "Hurt Locker" as Best Film, Snubbing Avatar and Throwing Oscar Race Into Confusion

When Avatar picked up Best Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globes, it seemed likely that the march to coronate Avatar as Best Picture was one — but last night the Producers Guild gave its top honor to Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and this, plus the Screen Actor’s Guild also ignoring Avatar (not a surprise) leaves the Oscar race for Best Picture in a state of confusion.

Edgar Rice Burroughs on the "Tarzan Theme"

Avatar has re-energized my affection and appreciation for the great adventure novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars and according to James Cameron a principal source of inspiration for Avatar. One thing that Burroughs and Cameron have in common, I think, is a unique and perhaps intuitive ability to grasp the mythic structures that cause their stories to resonate astonishingly across disparate cultures.