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Avatar smashes past $2 billion, but can it beat Gone with the Wind?

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(Read caption) $2 billion. Nine Oscar nominations. Top grossing movie of all time. Meh, whatever. Factor in inflation, and Avatar falls well below Gone with the Wind.

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In pure dollar numbers, "Avatar" is the most successful box-office release in history.

This week, the movie rolled past the big $2 billion mark. Americans alone have purchased more than $2 million worth of tickets every day since its December release, often more than $10 million a day. It's the highest-grossing domestic and worldwide release ever, easily sailing past "Titanic."

But what if you account for inflation? Suddenly, "Avatar" sags from first to a lowly 21st.

Box Office Mojo, which tracks film records, says James Cameron's latest sci-fi wonder has pulled in $603 million in the US. (The other $1.4 billion came from overseas ticket sales.) In contrast, "Gone with the Wind" tops the list with $1.5 billion in 2010 dollars. (It made another billion-and-a-half dollars abroad, if you count inflation.) However, to be fair, that movie enjoyed multiple theater releases over many years.

Here's Box Office Mojo's top 10 movies, with inflation. Note that "Titanic" still floats on this list.


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