Blockbuster movie Avatar has retaken the highest-grossing film of all time spot thanks to its re-release in China.
The sci-fi epic debuted in 2009 and held the global box office title for a decade until it was overtaken by Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame in 2019.
Following its re-release in the world’s biggest movie-watching market of China worldwide total sales pushed it above the $2.8bn (£2bn) mark on the weekend.
China has been the top-performing film market since pandemic lockdowns.
Director James Cameron’s Avatar took in around $4m on Friday alone which pushed it ahead of Endgame, according to distributor Walt Disney.
Disney owns both films after the company bought entertainment assets from Fox in 2019. It also owns the Titanic movie, which is third on the list of highest-grossing movies.
When Endgame passed Avatar in 2019, Mr Cameron tweeted a picture of Avenger’s Iron Man on the fictional Avatar universe of Pandora along with a congratulatory note.
He is currently working on four sequels to Avatar. The next film, which has been delayed several times, is currently scheduled for release in December 2022.
“We are proud to reach this great milestone, but Jim (James Cameron) and I are most thrilled that the film is back in theatres during these unprecedented times, and we want to thank our Chinese fans for their support,” said Avatar producer Jon Landau.
Chinese movie theatres have been open for several months now since pandemic-led shutdowns, and local movies have also been enjoying some of their strongest box-office sales ever.
Ahead of its re-release in China, Avatar grossed around $760m in the US and just over $2bn internationally.
Earlier this month, Disney’s premiered its first South East Asian heroine movie in cinemas
Raya and the Last Dragon sees her travel around the region to reunite its people and attempt to save the world in the process.