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Avatar: The Way Of Water Crushes Star Wars: The Force Awakens At The Box Office

The Force is no longer as strong as it once was. The first installment of the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy, "The Force Awakens" grossed over $2 billion following its 2015 release, making it the third-highest-grossing film ever before "Avengers: End Game" premiered in 2019 (via Box Office Mojo). Now, James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" — which is already a $2 billion smash hit and counting — just cruised past "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the all-time global box office, officially becoming one the top four highest-grossing movies in Hollywood ever. Next up on the record list? Cameron's 1997 classic "Titanic," which the "Avatar" sequel is also expected to surpass. 

Box office analysts tell The Hollywood Reporter that a surge in China ticket sales and movie attendance in China following the Lunar New Year could push "The Way of Water" past Cameron's first box-office behemoth within the next few weeks. As of this writing, the all-time list for box-office sales had 2009's "Avatar" at the top and "Avengers: Endgame" in the second slot, followed by "Titanic." As "The Way of Water" continues to climb the global box office, movie insiders believe there's only one true challenge that the film will face over the next month that could hinder it from immediately overtaking the Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet-led blockbuster

Avatar 2 will now go head-to-head with Titanic rerelease

According to the box-office numbers, "Avatar: The Way of Water" officially passed "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on Friday, January 27, with a worldwide close of $2.074 billion (via THR). Now, the James Cameron follow-up is set to go one-on-one with a rerelease of his own film "Titanic" throughout the month of February, with it scheduled to hit theaters again on February 10. Either way, Cameron has yet another one of his cinematic creations etched into the box-office record books. And fans hope that "The Way of Water" can possibly cruise even higher, knocking out the MCU from the second-place spot. 

"The Way of Water surpassing Endgame is so important to me," said Twitter user @smilesxkawng

While the fate of Cameron's "Avatar" sequel is ultimately still up in the air, there is at least one major movie market where "The Way of Water" has outdone "Avengers: Endgame," and that's India. The second "Avatar" managed to beat out Marvel's highest-grossing flick by mid-January, with Variety reporting a nationwide gross of INR4.6 billion, or $56.6 million, compared to "Endgame"'s INR4.3 billion, aka $53.6 million.

When "Titanic" comes out again next month, it'll reportedly be offered in a remastered 3D version, which could boost its numbers enough to keep its top spot. But analysts told THR that they believe "The Way of Water" will still be able to beat Cameron's first box-office record-breaker in the long run.