The Lord OfThe Rings: The Return Of The King has overtaken Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone to become the second highest worldwidegrossing picture of all time behind Titanic.

Figuresyesterday (Wednesday) from New Line International (NLI) put Peter Jackson'strilogy finale on $981.9m. This comprises $624.2m in international and $357.7min domestic ticket sales and passes the $975.8m mark set by Harry Potter, which Warner Bros released in 2001.

Titanic, which was released domestically throughParamount and internationally through Fox International in 1997, remains therunaway leader on $1.8bn global box office.

"We'rethrilled that The Return of the King moved into second place in worldwide box office," RolfMittweg, president and chief operating officer of NLI's worldwide distributionand marketing division, said in a statement.

"The film hasbroken records in nearly every territory in which it has opened and debuted inJapan over the weekend at number one, which helped us achieve this landmarksuccess.

"The film'stremendous power and longevity at the box office is a testament to the talentbehind it in Peter Jackson and all the cast and crew."

The Return Of The King began its international roll-out in December with asensational $121m haul from 28 territories in its first five days. It isexpected to pass $1bn at the international box office this weekend.