'Avatar' Sequel Gives James Cameron 3 of the Top 5 Highest-Grossing Movies of All Time

The long awaited sequel beat out Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the fourth place spot

James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water
Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty; 20th Century Studios

James Cameron continues to dominate Hollywood.

Just over a week after the long-awaited sequel reached $2 billion at the box office globally, it has now secured a coveted spot among the five highest-grossing movies of all time, landing fourth over the weekend.

It joins Avatar, which holds the No. 1 spot with $2.923 billion; Avengers: Endgame at No. 2 with $2.799 billion; and Titanic, No. 3 at $2.195 billion. Star Wars: The Force Awakens now holds the No. 5 spot with $2.071 billion global sales.

While Cameron's latest blockbuster hasn't beaten his 1997 classic quite yet, it's possible that it's on track to, as it's climbed from $2 to $2.1 billion in just 10 days.

Considering how "very f----ing" expensive the sequel was to make, as Cameron, 68, recently told GQ, the impressive box office showing has proved the movie maker's ability to churn out hit films. He even joked that The Way of Water would "have to be the third- or fourth-highest-grossing film in history" to just "break even," when making the case for the film to the studio.

The Way of Water reached the billion-mark in just 14 days.

Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, James Cameron, Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington attend the photocall for "Avatar: The Way of Water" at The Corinthia Hotel on December 04, 2022 in London, England.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty

Cameron had been open about his nerves ahead of releasing the long-awaited sequel to the No. 1 movie in history, particularly considering the pandemic's effects on moviegoing.

"The big issue is: Are we going to make any damn money? Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money," he told Entertainment Weekly in December 2021. "We're in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those [box office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It's all a big roll of the dice."

Despite being a risk, his roll of the dice proved successful, and positions the forthcoming Avatar movies — the third and fourth have been confirmed, while the fifth is not yet guaranteed — as potential record-breakers, too.

Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet Titanic - 1997
20th Century Fox/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

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The Way of Water's box office success has also brought personal success to Zoe Saldaña, who became the first actor to have four movies earn over $2 billion worldwide. Her other three titles to reach the milestone are: 2009's Avatar, 2019's Avengers: Endgame and 2018's Avengers: Infinity War.

"It has been a rollercoaster of emotions for sure," Saldaña, who plays Neytiri in the Avatar films, wrote in an Instagram post. "Gratitude for the acknowledgment, and absolute exhilaration that I get to wake up every morning and go do what I love. Never in a million years did I ever aim to make history by being in these movies. I've always been lucky to have been chosen and asked to join these amazing, groundbreaking projects."

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