Star Wars: The Force Awakens has dislodged James Cameron's Avatar as the top-selling movie in North American box office history. The Force Awakens' has grossed $760.6 million, passing Avatar's record of $760.5 million.
In terms of The Force Awakens' total worldwide haul, the film has some catching up to do. It's currently at $1.5 billion at the global box office, while Avatar sits at $2.78 billion. One factor that will affect The Force Awakens' worldwide earnings is that the film has yet to open in China, which it'll do on January 9. But if you look deeper into the numbers, Avatar made a killing overseas (roughly $2 billion, with $204 million of it coming from China); The Force Awakens has only hauled in $770 million so far.
Lots of people are rooting for The Force Awakens to displace Avatar from the top spot because Avatar hasn't aged well. And in hindsight, many believe its skillful use of 3D filmmaking techniques obscured its lack of substance:
Hey. Right now. Try to quote Avatar, the highest-grossing movie of all time. Quote ANY line. Or name 2 characters. No cheating.— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) December 20, 2015
The Force Awakens is arguably a better movie than Avatar and the rightful heir to the top spot at the worldwide box office. We can all agree that it's preferable for a good film to make the most money in movie history, rather than a bad one. Now The Force Awakens just has to start chipping away at that $1.3 billion gap.