Twelve years after his last blockbuster success Titanic, Hollywood director James Cameron's new sci-fi epic Avatar may prove the biggest of them all - it topped $1 billion three weeks after its opening, the fastest ever in history.
According to its distributor 20th Century Fox, the high budget 3-D movie has taken in $352.1 million dollars in North America and totalled $1.02 billion worldwide till last Sunday, ranking fourth on the list of biggest box-office movies.
While the movie's plot is fairly predictable - some may even say childish - cinegoers and critics are unanimous in praising the use of advanced 3-D technology, which gives the movie a whole new feel.
On Monday, the film burned up the box office when it opened in Beijing - the theatres were thronged despite record snowfall and bitter cold; and Avatar earned about $5 million on the first day to set a record for a weekday opening here.
Blockbusters that earned more than Avatar in history include Titanic (1997), with a gross of $1.84 billion, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), totalling $1.12 billion, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), selling $1.07 billion.
But it is still early days for Avatar, which may end up beating all of them.