James Cameron has now directed 3 of the 5 highest-grossing movies of all time
Avatar: The Way of Water has reached a new milestone as it continues its box-office domination.
As of Thursday, the film has earned a cumulative $2.054 billion worldwide since premiering in theaters Dec. 16. That means the blockbuster has edged out Avengers: Infinity War (which raked in $2.052 billion) to become the fifth-highest-grossing movie of all time.
It also means that its director, James Cameron, has now made three of the five top-grossing films ever.
Cameron's first Avatar movie, released in 2009, still holds the No. 1 spot with $2.923 billion. Titanic (1997), the other Cameron movie in the top 5, holds the third spot with $2.195 billion, behind Avengers: Endgame's $2.799 billion.
Fourth place goes to Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015) with $2.071 billion, but Avatar: The Way of Water is closing in on that record. It's practically guaranteed at this point, with Wednesday screenings alone adding $9 million to its still-growing grand total.
In terms of the North American box office, Cameron's sequel, starring Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña, ranks as the 13th-highest-grossing movie. In terms of international screenings, it's the fourth-highest grosser.
Saldaña, who plays Na'vi warrioress Neytiri in Cameron's Avatar films, also has a box-office record to flaunt: She is the first actress to appear in four films that have crossed the $2 billion mark: Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avatar: The Way of Water.
"Gratitude for the acknowledgment, and absolute exhilaration that I get to wake up every morning and go do what I love," Saldaña said of the benchmark in a post on Instagram. "Never in a million years did I ever aim to make history by being in these movies. I've always been lucky to have been chosen and asked to join these amazing, groundbreaking projects."
In addition to thanking Cameron, she expressed gratitude to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn for casting her as Gamora in the Marvel movies and Avengers helmers Joe and Anthony Russo. She then addressed fans.
"Thank YOU to all our fans for making these movies what they are today — history in the making!" Saldaña wrote.
Three more Avatar sequels are in the works, and Avatar 3 and part of Avatar 4 have already been filmed. Just imagine a world in which Cameron has claim to all five of the top-grossing movies.
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