'Avatar' tops box office again; nears 'Titanic' record

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The Independent Culture

Science-fiction epic "Avatar" topped the North American box office for the sixth week running and was two million dollars shy of the all-time ticket sales record set by his earlier film "Titanic," estimates showed Sunday.

Director James Cameron's groundbreaking 3-D spectacular raked in 36 million dollars this weekend, raising its North American takings to 552.8 million and international ticket sales to 1.841 billion, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

Cameron's 1997 Oscar-winning "Titanic," is still the highest-grossing film of all time with 1.843 billion dollars.

"Avatar" is also close to Titanic's North America takings record of 600.8 million dollars. It is now in second place, having surpassed the 533.3 million dollar mark set by 2008 Batman sequel "The Dark Knight.

Post-apocalyptic thriller "Legion," starring Dennis Quaid, opened this weekend in second place with 18.2 million dollars.

Denzel Washington's "Book of Eli," an action movie also set in a post-apocalyptic world took in 17 million dollars for third place and 62 million for it's two week run.

Dwayne Johnson comedy "The Tooth Fairy," opened in fourth place with 14.5 million dollars.

"Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson's latest film, "The Lovely Bones", an adaptation of Alice Sebold's acclaimed 2002 novel about a murdered schoolgirl who from the afterlife helps her family catch her killer, made 8.8 million dollars for fifth place.

In sixth place was "Sherlock Holmes" with 7.1 million dollars. Director Guy Ritchie's high-octane take on the adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary London detective, played by Robert Downey Junior, has taken 191.5 million dollars in five weeks.

Seventh place went to the debut of "Extraordinary Measures," starring Harrison Ford as a scientist helping Brendan Fraser find a cure for his childrens' rare genetic disease. It debuted with seven million dollars.

Rounding out the top ten were family film "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," which added another 6.5 million dollars to its five-week haul of 204.2 million.

Love triangle comedy "It's Complicated," starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, dropped to ninth place, taking 9.6 million dollars.

Hong Kong film legend Jackie Chan weighed in at tenth place with his slapstick comedy "The Spy Next Door," which took 4.5 million dollars.

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