Avatar Overtakes “The Dark Knight”

After just 17 days, James Cameron’s “Avatar” has crossed $1 billion at the global box office and moving ahead of last year’s juggernaut “The Dark Knight” which was the previous #4.

In fact if numbers continue along estimates, the film is expected to pass “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” to become second-biggest worldwide release of all time behind only Cameron’s “Titanic”.

How big is this phenomenon? Domestically Cameron’s film took in $68.3 million in its third weekend, easily beating the previous record of a third weekend gross of $45 million garnered by “Spider-Man 3”.

At the U.S. box-office it has made $352 million so far, the second-largest grossing film of 2009. It’s expected to pass the $402 million that “Transformers Revenge of the Fallen” earned by the weekend – achieving in three weeks what took ‘Fallen’ nearly four months to achieve.

Outside the US the film also currently sits at #2 for 2009 with $667 million, just behind “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” with $691 million which “Avatar” will overtake in the next day or two.