Date: 4th January 2010

Avatar smashes $1bn box office speed record

Avatar has become the fastest movie ever to achieve $1bn (625.6m) in ticket sales around the world.

Distributors 20th Century Fox say it has earned more than $350m (217m) in the US and more than $670m (415m) in the rest of the world in only 17 days.

The 3D science fiction blockbuster was directed by James Cameron, who also made Titanic, the best selling movie of all time.

The latest figures make Avatar already the fourth-biggest film ever made.

Ahead of it are Titanic ($1.8bn; 1.1bn), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.12bn; 695m) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1.07bn; 664m).

Source: Press Release