1. Headline
  1. Headline

Photos: The world of ‘Avatar’

loading photos...
  1. 'Star Wars' for a new generation?

    The most talked-about film of 2009-2010 is James Cameron's sci-fi epic "Avatar." Its fantasy world on the planet Pandora has been compared to the "Star Wars" universe. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Hero in blue, and as himself

    Sam Worthington portrays Jake Sully, a paralyzed veteran who finds joy, and the use of his legs, when his consciousness is transplanted into a lab-grown "Avatar," a giant body made to resemble the Na'vi people of the planet Pandora. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Behind blue skin

    Actress Zoe Saldana's real face was never seen in "Avatar," but her character, Neytiri, domainates the screen. She plays one of the Na'vi, a race of 10-feet-tall, blue-skinned creatures who live in harmony with nature. (20th Century Fox, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Tanked

    Jake meets his avatar, a genetically engineered hybrid of human DNA mixed with DNA from the natives of Pandora. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Trying out the new bod

    Frustrated by his paralysis in his human body, Jake can't wait to get started walking and running once he's awake in the fully functioning body of his Avatar. The Avatar was created to work with Jake's twin brother, a scientist, but when he is killed, an untrained Jake steps in. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Battle ready

    The humans on Pandora are well prepared for war. Their weapons include 16-foot-tall Amplified Mobility Platform suits as well as heavily armed gunships, which are paired against the simple arrows of the Na'vi. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. What a sight

    The humans are awed by the natural beauty of Pandora, which includes floating mountains, enormous trees that can house hundreds, and breathtaking flora. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. High in the sky

    Pandora's majestic floating mountains dwarf a massive gunship. A real Chinese mountain called the Southern Sky Column provided inspiration for the filmmakers, and the Chinese have since renamed it "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain." (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Plotting an attack

    Col. Miles Quaritch, right, plays on Jake's military background to try and enlist him to help bring down the Na'vi. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. The guys with the ties are never good

    Scientist Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), right, faces off numerous times against Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi), the Pandora station supervisor. Weaver's character reportedly was at once point named Shipley, an homage to her fierce character, Ellen Ripley, in Cameron's 1986 film "Aliens." (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Hang on tight

    The Thanators are just one of the numerous native species on Pandora. James Cameron described the creatures as "panthers from hell." (Weta / 20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Going against orders

    Helicopter pilot Trudy Chacon (Michelle Rodriguez, a.k.a. Ana Lucia on "Lost") is a great help to the Na'vi in their climactic battle to save their planet. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Stomping grounds

    Col. Quaritch drives the AMP Suit, a formidable weapon in the humans' battle against the Na'vi. Fans of Cameron's "Aliens" may remember a similar suit being worn by Sigourney Weaver's Ripley as she fought to protect young surviving colonist Newt. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. A film 15 years in the making

    "Avatar" director James Cameron reviews a scene with Sigourney Weaver, Joel David Moore and Sam Worthington. Cameron wrote an 80-page treatment for the film back in 1994, but says he had to wait for technology to catch up with his vision for the film. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

updated 2/3/2010 3:51:11 PM ET 2010-02-03T20:51:11

James Cameron’s “Avatar” has sailed past his blockbuster “Titanic” to become No. 1 on the all-time domestic box-office chart.

“Avatar” climbed to $601.1 million domestically on Tuesday, putting it a fraction ahead of the $600.8 million haul for “Titanic.”

With more than $2 billion worldwide, Cameron’s sci-fi sensation shattered the global box-office record of $1.84 billion held by “Titanic” last week.

“When some said to us, ‘How is it going to feel to knock off ‘Titanic’? I think our response was, ‘It’s about time those guys got knocked off their perch,”’ said Cameron’s producing partner Jon Landau on Tuesday, after “Avatar” tied for the lead at the Academy Awards with nine nominations, including best picture.

“Lightning is not supposed to strike twice. And it has. And it’s a pinch-me moment when you sit there and you hear that we’re going to break another record. It’s beyond anything that we could have imagined,” he said.

Landau said he, Cameron and their collaborators have discussed sequel prospects but that nothing definite has been decided. Just before the release of “Avatar” in December, writer-director Cameron said he had the “broad strokes for two more films.”

“This is set up to be a potential franchise,” Cameron had said in December. “It’s not like I’ve got scripts two and three teed up, ready to go, and I want to start at the end of January. But it’s definitely part of the game plan.”

“Avatar” still has plenty of box-office life left. It passed $600 million domestically on its 47th day of release. Back in 1998, “Titanic” was at barely half that amount — $311 million — after its 47th day in theaters.

Factoring in today’s higher admission prices, “Titanic” still has sold more tickets than “Avatar.”

Adjusted for inflation, classics such as “Gone With the Wind,” “Star Wars” and “The Sound of Music” still top the charts for most tickets sold.

Landau, a producer on both “Titanic” and “Avatar,” said he does not buy into inflation-adjusted box-office rankings, adding that “every movie has to stand in its own time.”

“‘Gone With the Wind’ didn’t have to compete with television. ‘Star Wars’ didn’t have to compete with DVDs. ‘Titanic’ didn’t have to compete with Blu-rays and satellite. So I think every film has to compete on its own merits,” Landau said.

“The inflation argument, I find it funny when people raise it, ’cause I never heard them raising it when they talk about budget and cost to the movie. But they love to do it when it comes to box office,” he said.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Courtesy of Karen Adell Scot

    Transgender teacher reveals joy, heartbreak of new life as a woman

    12/17/2014 2:58:41 PM +00:00 2014-12-17T14:58:41
  1. AFP-Getty Images file

    Prince William dares to call Kate's dream hair a 'nightmare'

    12/17/2014 5:34:33 PM +00:00 2014-12-17T17:34:33
  1. Handout / Reuters

    'Glorious day': Freed American Alan Gross says it's good to be home

    12/17/2014 7:35:11 PM +00:00 2014-12-17T19:35:11
  1. Matt Murray (Nbcuniversal)

    The Royals or Jennifer Lawrence? Vote for the best photobomb of 2014

    12/17/2014 7:35:46 PM +00:00 2014-12-17T19:35:46