List of box office records set by Avatar

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A photograph of James Cameron
James Cameron wrote, directed, and produced Avatar.

Avatar was released in December 2009 and went on to break multiple box office records in various markets. Worldwide, it became the highest-grossing movie of all time[1] and the fastest movie to gross $1 billion through $2.5 billion,[2][3][4][5][6] while also setting the records for the highest grosses in the 3D[7] and IMAX[8] formats, respectively. In its domestic market of the United States and Canada, it set the records for the highest-grossing film[9] and second through seventh weekends,[10][11][12][13][14][15] as well as the fastest to gross $500 million through $750 million.[16][17][18][19][20][21] Elsewhere, it became the highest-grossing film of all time in over 30 markets including China,[22] Hong Kong,[7][23][24] Romania,[7] South Korea,[25][26] Taiwan,[27] and the United Kingdom.[27]

Box office analysts identified several factors contributing to the film's box office success. Among these were the relative lack of competition owing to the release date, a marketing strategy that emphasized the novelty of the cinematic experience leading viewers to watch it in the theater rather than at home, positive word of mouth and repeat viewings increasing the film's staying power in cinemas, an ability to attract audiences across the globe, and premium ticket prices from 3D and IMAX showings.[28][29][30][31][32] Many of the records set by the film are listed below. Data on the previous record and records that have since been surpassed are presented where available and applicable. All grosses are given in unadjusted US dollars, except where noted otherwise.

Worldwide[edit]

The film set the worldwide record for the highest gross of all time, surpassing the previous record by more than 50%, and grossed $2 billion in less time than it had taken the previous fastest-grossing film to gross half as much. It also exceeded the previous record for highest gross in the IMAX format by a factor of more than three.

Record Figure Previous record holder Surpassed by Notes
Highest-grossing film $2.789 billion[1] Titanic – $1.84 billion[33] Avengers: Endgame – $2.797 billion[34] It became the highest-grossing movie in history on January 25, 2010, after 41 days of release,[7][35][36] and had become the second-highest-grossing movie worldwide 20 days after its initial release.[37]
Highest-grossing non-sequel $2.789 billion[38] Titanic – $1.84 billion[33] N/A
Highest-grossing 2009 release $2.77 billion[39] N/A N/A It was the only 2009 release to gross more than $1 billion.[39]
Highest 3D gross $1.35 billion[7] N/A N/A
Highest IMAX gross $243 million[8] The Polar Express $71 million[40] N/A
Fastest movie to gross $1 billion 19 days[2] Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest – 63 days[41] Furious 7 – 17 days[42]
Fastest movie to gross $1.5 billion 32 days[3][4] Titanic (see note)[33] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 19 days[43][44] Titanic reached $1 billion on March 1, 1998[45] after 74 days of release,[46] and had reached approximately $1.7 billion by June 23, 1998, i.e. after 188 days of release.[47]
Fastest movie to gross $2 billion 47 days[5] It was the first movie to reach that gross.[33] Avengers: Endgame – 11 days[48]
Fastest movie to gross $2.5 billion 72 days[4][49][50] It was the first movie to reach that gross.[33] Avengers: Endgame – 20 days (see note) Outside of the US and Canada,[50] the gross was $1,839.0 million as of February 28, 2010 and the weekend gross for February 26–28, 2010 was $30.6 million, giving a gross of $1,808.4 million as of February 25, 2010. Adding to that the US and Canada gross[49] of $692.9 million as of February 25, 2010 gives a worldwide gross of $2.501 billion as of February 25, 2010.

Endgame was released on April 24, 2019, and the gross as of May 13, 2019 was $1,774.7 million outside of the US and Canada and $728.4 million in the US and Canada for a worldwide gross of $2.503 billion.[51]

Highest opening weekend gross for a non-franchise, non-sequel $242 million[52] 2012 – $230 million[53][54] N/A
Fastest to $100 million in IMAX ticket sales 30 days[55][56] It was the first movie to reach this gross.[57] Jurassic World – 18 days[58]
Fastest to $150 million in IMAX ticket sales 47 days[59] It was the first movie to reach this gross.[57] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 19 days[59]
Fastest to $200 million in IMAX ticket sales 68 days[56][60] It was the first movie to reach this gross.[57] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 35 days[61]
Widest IMAX release 261 theaters[62] N/A Alice in Wonderland 270 theaters[63] Of these, 178 were in the US and Canada.[62] For Alice in Wonderland, 188 were in the US and Canada.[63]
Biggest fourth-weekend IMAX gross $12.2 million[64] N/A Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $19 million[64]

United States and Canada[edit]

In the domestic market, Avatar set the record for the highest-grossing film of all time as well as several weekend records. It also set speed records for grosses at and above $500 million, and had the widest IMAX and 3D releases of any film up to that time.

Record Figure Previous record holder Surpassed by Notes
Highest-grossing film $760 million[9] Titanic – $600 million[65] Star Wars: The Force Awakens $936 million[66] It passed Titanic's gross in 47 days.[67]
Highest-grossing non-sequel $760 million[68] Titanic – $600 million[65][68] N/A
Highest-grossing 2009 release $749 million[69] N/A N/A
Highest gross during the 2010 calendar year $466 million[70] N/A N/A
Fastest to $500 million 32 days[16] The Dark Knight – 45 days[16] The Avengers – 23 days[16] It grossed $504 million in that time.[16]
Fastest to $550 million 38 days[17] Titanic – 121 days[17] The Avengers – 31 days[17] It grossed $551 million in that time.[17]
Fastest to $600 million 47 days[18] Titanic – 255 days[18] Jurassic World 36 days[18] It grossed $601 million in that time.[18]
Fastest to $650 million 58 days[19] It was the first movie to reach that gross.[19] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 14 days[19] It grossed $651 million in that time.[19]
Fastest to $700 million 72 days[20] It was the first movie to reach that gross.[20] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 16 days[20] It grossed $702 million in that time.[20]
Fastest to $750 million 253 days[21] It was the first movie to reach that gross.[21] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 18 days[21] It grossed $750 million in that time.[21]
Highest 2nd weekend gross $75.6 million[10] The Dark Knight – $75.1 million[10] The Avengers – $103 million[10]
Highest 3rd weekend gross $68.4 million[11] Spider-Man – $45.0 million[11] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $90.2 million[11]
Highest 4th weekend gross $50.3 million[12] Titanic – $28.7 million[12] N/A
Highest 5th weekend gross $42.7 million[13] Titanic – $30.0 million[13] N/A
Highest 6th weekend gross $34.9 million[14] Titanic – $25.2 million[14] N/A
Highest 7th weekend gross $31.2 million[15] Titanic – $25.9 million[15] N/A
Highest 37th weekend gross $4.0 million[71] My Big Fat Greek Wedding – $2.7 million[71] N/A
Highest Christmas weekend gross $75.6 million[72] The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – $50.5 million[72] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $149 million[72] In 2009. The Return of the King was in 2003. The Force Awakens was in 2015.[72]
Highest Martin Luther King weekend 4-day gross $54.4 million[73][74] Cloverfield – $46.1 million[73][74] American Sniper – $107 million[73][74] In 2010. Cloverfield was in 2008. American Sniper was in 2015.[74]
Highest Martin Luther King weekend 3-day gross $42.7 million[75] Cloverfield – $40.0 million[75] American Sniper – $89.2 million[75]
Highest January weekend gross $68.4 million[76] Cloverfield – $40.0 million[76] American Sniper – $89.2 million[76]
Highest opening weekend gross for an original movie $77 million[77] The Incredibles – $70 million[78][79] Inside Out – $91 million[80]
Highest opening weekend IMAX gross $9.5 million[77] Star Trek – $8.5 million[77] Alice in Wonderland $12.2 million[81][82]
Highest opening weekend 3D gross $55 million[77] Up – $35.4 million[77] Alice in Wonderland – $81.3 million[81][82]
Highest Christmas Eve gross $11.2 million[83] The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – $7.7 million[84] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $27.1 million[83] In 2009. The Two Towers was in 2002. The Force Awakens was in 2015.[83][84]
Highest New Year's Day gross $25.2 million[85] Meet the Fockers – $18.2 million[85] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $34.3 million[85] In 2010. Meet the Fockers was in 2005. The Force Awakens was in 2016.[85]
Highest January single-day gross $25.2 million[86]
$25.8 million[86]
Meet the Fockers – $18.2 million[86] American Sniper – $30.3 million[86] On January 1 and then January 2, 2010. For Meet the Fockers, it was January 1, 2005. For American Sniper, it was January 16, 2015.[86]
Highest second Tuesday gross $18.2 million[87] The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – $10.2 million[87] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $29.5 million[87] On December 29, 2009. For The Fellowship of the Ring, it was January 1, 2002. For The Force Awakens, it was December 29, 2015.[87]
Highest second Wednesday gross $18.4 million[88] The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – $12.3 million[88] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $28.0 million[88] On December 30, 2009. For The Two Towers, it was December 25, 2002. For The Force Awakens, it was December 30, 2015.[88]
Number one film of the highest-grossing single aggregated weekend $269 million[89] July 18–20, 2008 – $260 million[89] June 12–14, 2015 – $273 million[89] The figure represents the combined gross of all movies in theaters on the weekend of December 25–27, 2009. Avatar grossed 28.0%. The Dark Knight grossed 60.7% of the previous record. Jurassic World grossed 76.2% of the record that surpassed Avatar's.[89]
Number one film of the highest-grossing aggregated December $1.06 billion[90] December 2007 – $993 million[90] December 2015 – 1.30 billion[90] The figure represents the combined gross of all movies in theaters in December 2009. Avatar grossed 26.6%. I Am Legend comprised 20.1% of December 2007's gross. Star Wars: The Force Awakens comprised 50.0% of December 2015's gross.[90]
Number one film of the highest-grossing aggregated January $1.05 billion[91] January 2009 – $1.01 billion[91] N/A The figure represents the combined gross of all movies in theaters in January 2010. Avatar grossed 29.5%. Gran Torino comprised 10.2% of January 2009's gross.[91]
Widest 3D release 2,038 theaters[81] N/A Alice in Wonderland – 2,251 theaters[81]
Widest IMAX release 178 theaters[77] Star Trek – 138 theaters[77] Alice in Wonderland – 188 theaters[81]
Smallest second weekend drop for a movie opening over $50 million down 1.8%[92] How the Grinch Stole Christmas – down 5.4%[92] N/A
Highest-grossing film in any single December $283 million[93] The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – $249 million[93] Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $652 million[93]
Highest-grossing film in any single January $312 million[94] Titanic – $188 million[94] N/A

Other territories[edit]

Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all time in more than 30 markets spanning all six continents (not counting Antarctica). Data on precise figures, previous record holders, and surpassed records is limited due to the absence of box office record trackers for these markets.

Record Territory Figure Previous record holder Surpassed by Notes
Highest-grossing movie Outside of the US and Canada $2.02 billion[95] Titanic – $1.24 billion[96] N/A It surpassed Titanic's record on January 23, 2010, after 39 days of release.[4][96]
Highest-grossing non-sequel $2.01 billion[97] Titanic – $1.24 billion[96][97] N/A
Fastest to $1 billion 28 days[98] Titanic (see note) Avengers: Infinity War – 19 days (see note) Titanic took four times as long.[98] Infinity War was released on April 25, 2018[99] and had grossed $1.059 billion outside of the US and Canada market as of May 13, 2018.[100]
Highest single day IMAX gross $1.4 million[101]
$1.6 million[102]
N/A Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (see note)[103] On Saturday, January 2 and then Saturday, January 9, 2010.[101][102] Deathly Hallows 2 grossed $8 million on its opening weekend July 15–17, 2011 for an average over $2.6 million per day.[103]
Highest December opening weekend gross $164 million[104] N/A Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $281 million[104]
Highest 4th week gross $150 million[105] N/A N/A
Highest 5th week gross $128 million[25] N/A N/A
Highest 6th week gross $108 million[106][107] N/A N/A
Highest-grossing film of all time Australia[7][105][108] $105 million[109] Titanic – $70.5 million[108] N/A It was the top-grossing movie of all time in 24 markets after 41 days of release.[7]
Bahrain[7] $896 thousand[109] N/A N/A
Brazil[27] $58.2 million[109] N/A Elite Squad: The Enemy Within – $62.9 million[110]
Bulgaria[7] $3.4 million[109] N/A N/A
Chile[7][23] $10.4 million[109] N/A Ice Age: Continental Drift – $13.7 million[111]
China[22] $204 million[109] 2012 – $67.5 million[22] Transformers: Age of Extinction – $320 million[112]
Colombia[7] $13.6 million[109] N/A Ice Age: Continental Drift – $14.0 million[113]
Czech Republic[7] $12.4 million[109] N/A N/A
Dominican Republic[7] $1.3 million[109] N/A N/A
East and West Africa[7] $844 thousand[109] N/A N/A
Hong Kong[7][23][24] $22.9 million[109] Titanic[24] – $15.1 million[114] Avengers: Endgame[115] – $29.3 million[116]
Hungary[7] $7.3 million[109] N/A N/A
Italy[117] 83.4 million[109] N/A N/A
Jamaica[7] $476 thousand[109] N/A N/A
Jordan[7] $752 thousand[109] N/A N/A
Latvia[7] $1.4 million[109] N/A N/A
Mexico[118] $44.2 million[109] Ice Age: The Meltdown[118] – $29.4 million[119] Toy Story 3 – $59.3 million[120]
New Zealand[121] $12.5 million[109] The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring[121] N/A
Portugal[7] $9.2 million[109] N/A N/A
Qatar[7] $883 thousand[109] N/A N/A
Romania[7] $5.5 million[109] N/A N/A
Russia[7][23][105] $117 million[109] N/A N/A
Serbia[7] $1.3 million[109] N/A Montevideo, God Bless You! – $2.1 million[122]
Singapore[7] $8.1 million[109] N/A Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $9.1 million[123]
Slovenia[7] $1.8 million[109] N/A N/A
South Korea[25][26] $111 million[109] Tidal Wave[26] – $67.9 million[124] The Admiral: Roaring Currents – $131 million[125]
Spain[7][23][105] $109 million[109] N/A N/A
Taiwan[27] $13.6 million[109] Titanic[126] Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $37.6 million[127]
Ukraine[7] $8.6 million[109] N/A N/A
United Arab Emirates[7] $7.3 million[109] N/A The Jungle Book – $9.1 million[128]
United Kingdom[27] $150 million[109] N/A Skyfall – $161 million[129]
Highest opening weekend gross Belgium[130] $1.6 million[131] N/A The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – $2.3 million[132]
Dominican Republic[133] N/A N/A N/A
Italy[25][134] $15.2 million[25][134] N/A Sole a catinelle – $25.0 million[135]
Romania[133] $521 thousand[136] N/A Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides[137] – $572 thousand[138]
Highest opening day gross Hong Kong HK$2.6 million[139] N/A 3D Sex & Zen – HK$2.7 million[139]
Widest release Russia 1,350 theaters[140] Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – 1,098 copies[140] Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – 1,716 screens[141]
Highest weekday opening gross China $5 million[142] N/A Pacific Rim – $9 million[143] On Monday, January 4, 2010.[142] Pacific Rim opened on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.[143]
Highest opening week gross $41.4 million[105][144] N/A Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $56+ million[145] Dark of the Moon grossed $56 million on its opening weekend;[145] figures for the entire opening week are not available.
Highest single-day gross $8.3 million[144] N/A Pacific Rim – $9 million[143] On Saturday, January 9, 2010.[144] For Pacific Rim, it was Wednesday, July 31, 2013 – its opening day.[143]
Highest IMAX opening weekend gross Poland[146] N/A N/A N/A
Japan[146] N/A N/A Star Wars: The Force Awakens[147]

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