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Avatar: The Way of Water is now the third highest-grossing movie of all time

Never bet against James Cameron

(L-R): Neytiri and Jake Sully in 20th Century Studios' AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Neytiri and Jake Sully in 20th Century Studios' Avatar: The Way of Water. (Disney)

Avatar: The Way of Water has overtaken Titanic to become the third highest-grossing movie of all time at the global box office.

James Cameron's long-awaited sci-fi sequel has now taken $2,244,456,991 (£1.866 billion) during the two months it has been on release, moving ahead of 1997's disaster movie — also directed by Cameron — which has taken $2,243,134,099 (£1.864 billion).

Read more: Titanic: 15 things you might not know

Disney, the studio behind Avatar, celebrated the news over the weekend thanking the fans worldwide for their 'passion' and 'love' which propelled the movie into the upper echelons of movie history.

Watch: Avatar: The Way of Water dominates visual effects awards with nine wins

Cameron has now directed three of the five highest-grossing movies of all time, with Avengers: Endgame now standing in the way of him occupying the top two spots.

The 2019 MCU movie has grossed $2,799,439,100 (£2.326 billion) to date, which means The Way of Water will need to take another $555 million to leapfrog the Russo brothers' superhero movie if it is to take second place.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star in James Cameron's Titanic. (20th Century Studios)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star in James Cameron's Titanic. (20th Century Studios)

With increased competition at the box office from blockbusters like Ant-Man 3, Cocaine Bear, and Creed III The Way of Water's momentum looks unlikely to take it past Endgame, but — as the old adage goes — never bet against James Cameron.

Read more: Why Kate Winslet broke her vow to never work with James Cameron again

The Way of Water was released 14 years after Avatar, and picked up the story of Jake Sully and Neytiri on the planet of Pandora. Having grown into a family of six — plus human boy Spider — they find themselves hunted once again by human invaders, and take refuge among the water-dwelling Metkayina tribe.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - DECEMBER 09: Director James Cameron and actress Sigourney Weaver attend the premiere of movie
James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver attend the premiere of Avatar: The Way of Water in Seoul, South Korea. (The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images)

Praised by critics and audiences alike, the film followed in its predecessor's footsteps in growing into a global phenomenon and breaking box office records, including being the second-fastest to gross over $2 billion, reaching the milestone in 40 days.

It won the Bafta for Best Special Visual Effects at the 2023 Baftas, and is nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture.