In its fifth weekend Avatar stayed on course to sink Titanic’s 12-year international and global box office records as it added an estimated $128.9m through Fox International to raise the tally to $1.2bn.

A $54.6m number one hold over the Martin Luther King Day four-day weekend in North America ensured global domination for the fifth straight weekend and it is now a matter of time — surely no more than two weeks — before James Cameron’s latest epic usurps his own Titanic’s venerable status as the biggest film of all time.

Titanic finished on $1.242bn internationally, $1.842bn worldwide and $600.8m in North America. Avatar stands at $1.62bn worldwide and has raced to this amount in a fracton of the time it took Titanic to work its magic.

The domestic record may prove tough, however the film appears to be in rude health in North America and will need less than a week to use its $505.1m platform to leapfrog The Dark Knight’s $533.3m and secure second place in the pantheon.

Avatar consolidated its international juggernaut status by crossing the $1bn mark on Friday [January 15] and set a new industry launch record in Italy, the final territory, on $14.5m from 925.

After 13 days in China Avatar has become the biggest release of all time, after adding a further $17.9m from 2,509 screens following the record opening week to stand at $75.6m.

Fox International sources said overall box office fell 18% as James Cameron’s space opera remained active on 14,575 screens in 112 markets, holding on to the number one spot in most.

There was a new all-time industry record in South Korea, too, where in its fifth weekend Avatar added $4.8m from 530 to reach $70.7m.

Elsewhere the film grossed $11.6m in France from 1,076 for a spectacular $115.3m running total. It added $9.5m in Germany from 853 for $85.8m, and $8.9m in the UK from 759 after a 14% rise for $80.7m.

Avatar generated a further $6.6m in Russia from 791 to cement its status as the biggest release in history on $89.3m, and in other major territories added: a record $6.4m fifth weekend in Australia for $68.8m; $6.5m in Spain for $69.2m; $5.7m in Japan for $66.4m after only four weekends; $3.1m in Brazil for $33.9m; and $2.3m in Mexico for $32.4m.

In other notable territories, India has reached $20.5m, Taiwan $19.1m, Hong Kong $15.1m, Holland and Sweden $14.4m apiece, Denmark $13.9m, Switzerland $11.4m, Turkey $10.6m, Austria $10.4m, Colombia $8.1m, Thailand $7.5m, Venezuela $7.1m, Chile $6.6m, and the UAE $4.6m.

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel added $15.6m from 5,491 screens in 58 markets and stands at $159.8m. Highlights include $11.1m in Brazil after two weekends, and $27.5m in the UK and $17.7m in Australia, both after four.

The family fantasy Tooth Fairy starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Julie Andrews and Ashley Judd, launched in six territories a week ahead of the North American launch, grossing $5.3m.

  • Sherlock Holmes added $26.3m through Warner Bros Pictures International from 5,514 screens in 53 territories for $168.6m. The action release opened in second place in Spain on $5.4m from 436 and according to the distributor was the weekend’s top attraction in terms of admissions, drawing 617,000 people. It opened top in Greece on $1.1m from 68 screens.

Fourth weekend figures put the UK on $30.2m, Italy on $26.7m, and Australia on $18.7m. After three, South Korea has amassed $11.5m and Mexico $9.1m, while Brazil has produced $5.9m after two.

Invictus added a further $7m in a strong weekend for Clint Eastwood’s Nelson Mandela drama. France generated an excellent $6.3m from 469 screens for Eastwood’s biggest ever weekend launch. The film has grossed $8.4m internationally from the early stages.

Warner Bros Entertainment Italia’s local language hit Io Loro E Lara added $3.9m from 662 screens in its second weekend in Italy and has amassed an excellent $18.1m so far.

  • Universal/UPI’s It’s Complicated grossed $9m from 2,100 sites in 24 territories and is looking good on an early $36.4m. The romantic comedy opened in seven territories including Russia, where it took $2m from 352 venues. A strong $2.3m second weekend in the UK raised the tally to $5.6m. There are 40 territories to go, including Germany next weekend.

Black Lightning added $1.3m from 800 sites in seven for $21.5m. It added $1.1m in Russia from 705 for $18.9m. Couples Retreat stands at $56.4m and Cirque Du Freak has grossed $14.2m. A Serious Man stands at $4.5m through Universal territories, and Public Enemies has reached $117.8m.

  • Summit International launched The Book Of Elistarring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman in the UK, Russia, and Greece and reported an estimated $4.5m from 896 sites.

  • PPI’s Up In The Air opened in nine territories and grossed $5.7m from 926 venues. The lead was the UK, where Jason Reitman’s drama took $2.1m from 325. Australia generated $1.6m from 145 and Russia produced $975,000 from 300.

The film heads into tonight’s Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles on six nominations and PPI will seek to capitalise on what it hopes will be a successful night by launching Up In The Airin more than a dozen new markets next weekend, including Italy, Spain, Mexico and Brazil. The Lovely Bones stands at $7m and Cell 211(Celda 211) has amassed $14.9m.

  • Sony Pictures Releasing International’s Did You Hear About The Morgans? added $5.8m from 2,100 screens in 25 markets to raise its early running total to $23.6m. After two weekends the romantic comedy stand at $4.2m in Germany and $3.2m in Spain, and has taken $4.9m in the UK after three.

Local language comedy Friendship opened in second place in Germany on $3.6m from 371 and launched in fourth place in Austria on $135,000 from 48. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs stands at $87.6m.

  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International is reporting a $3.5m weekend for The Princess And The Frogfrom 3,074 screens in 30 territories, which raises the tally to $62.3m.  Australia has reached $4.6m.

Old Dogs stands at $33.2m, Up has reached $434.1m, and Surrogates stands at $74.2m with German-speaking Europe and Japan to come next weekend.