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`Avatar` blasts off to No. 1 with $232.2 million worldwide

By December 21, 2009Newswires

Cameron`s `Avatar` blasts off to No. 1 with $73 million domestically, $232.2 million worldwide
by David Germain

LOS ANGELES – James Cameron launched his science-fiction epic "Avatar" into a safe orbit as the costly film soared to No. 1 with $73 million domestically and $159.2 million overseas, for a $232.2 million worldwide total.

With that big a start, distributor 20th Century Fox was quick to proclaim it made a good investment with the estimated $400 million spent to make and market the film, which is Cameron`s first narrative feature since 1997`s "Titanic," the king of modern blockbusters.

"Absolutely. No question," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for the studio, which reported stellar reaction in exit polls from audiences after seeing "Avatar." "The word of mouth is something that I don`t know I`ve ever seen in this business before."

"Avatar" was a test case for the future of digital 3-D projection, which until now has been a hit with audiences mainly on animated family films.

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