James Cameron blew through the box office records with Titanic. And now it looks like he’s going to do it again with Avatar. Using data from here and here, I’ve compiled a graph of the total gross earnings of the two films. I’ll wager it’s a valid comparison, given that the two films were released on practically the same day of the year, 12 years apart (Titanic on December 19, 1997 and Avatar on December 18, 2009) so they should both be subject the same seasonal fluctuations in movie attendance.

Titanic vs. Avatar in terms of Total Gross Earnings

The ‘Avatar Adjusted Gross’ numbers are adjusted based on the difference in average ticket price between those two years. To get them, I multiplied Avatar’s Total Gross by 4.59/7.35. These numbers are based on the fact that 4.59 was the average movie ticket price in 1997 and 7.35 was the average for 2009 (based on these and these statistics). Therefore, multiplying Avatar’s gross income by this ratio should get us Avatar’s gross income, adjusted to 1997 movie ticket prices.

My prediction? Avatar is going to blow through Cameron’s own previous box office record for the highest grossing film of all time.

**Update (01/27/2010)**: Here is the latest version of the graph with the latest data available (ending with 1/25). This graph doesn’t QUITE show Avatar passing Titanic, but it’s close.

Updated Avatar vs. Titanic Graph (Data through 1/25)

**Update (02/10/2011)**: Here is the latest version of the graph with all the data from Avatar’s box office run. By now, everyone knows Avatar passed Titanic. But, it’s interesting to note that the adjusted gross did not.

Updated Avatar vs. Titanic Graph (Data through 1/25)