MUMBAI: Avatar has become the highest grossing worldwide IMAX release, as the opening day in China combined with global holdovers pushed its box-office tally past the $71million mark set by The Polar Express.
The film grossed approximately $12.7 million over the weekend and boosted the tally to $67 million as Avatar surpassed The Dark Knight‘s $65 million haul to become the highest initial worldwide release.
The Polar Express reached $71 million after several re-releases. However Avatar overtook that figure yesterday and is set to cross $100 million later this month. Initial reports from IMAX said that midnight shows at all 11 Chinese screens were sold out.
Avatar currently stands at $20 million internationally from 71 screens (rising to 82 including China) and $47.1 million from 179 North American screens. The film added $8.7 million domestically over the weekend, accounting for 12 per cent of the total $68.3 million domestic weekend gross from 3 per cent of the screens.
The international take was $4 million and that amount included a record international single day on Saturday of $1.425 million.
In further good news for the company, the extraordinary pace of IMAX ticket sales for Avatar powered IMAX Corporation to its first $100 million global box-office quarter for the period ending 31 December, last year.
The company said this result marked an approximately 225 per cent increase on the fourth quarter from a year before, when global box office amounted to roughly $31 million.
Approximately $54 million of the $100 million came from Avatar in 2009. Gross box office of Hollywood films shown on 230 IMAX screens around the world in 2009 climbed 108 per cent to a record $270 million compared to $130 million in fiscal 2008.