The blue-blood natives of Pandora propelled Fox International to a new industry high for annual ticket sales in 2010.

Avatar was the key driver to the projected $2.9bn haul and grossed $1.48bn in 2010, with the balance of that film’s $2.026bn final tally coming from 2009 ticket sales.

James Cameron’s sci-fi opera ranks as the biggest global, international and North American release in history. It grossed $2.8bn worldwide and $760.5m in North America.

Fox International’s The Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader is currently in release and has amassed $196m and counting.

Executives were also celebrating Knight & Day’s $186.2m final tally, while Alvin And The Chipmunks 2 ended on $153.2m and Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief grossed $138.6m. The A-Team was the company’s sixth film to cross $100m in the year and reached $100.7m.

  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International top brass announced a record $2.3bn in annual overseas ticket sales for the company.

This was the fourth best annual haul for any distributor behind Fox International and Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) this year (WBPI will report results shortly) and Fox International’s $2.45bn tally in 2009.

2010 marks the 16th year in a row that Disney has crossed $1bn in overseas ticket sales. The result was powered by a $690.2m take for Alice In Wonderland that marked the company’s biggest international gross for a live-action release and the biggest overseas haul by any film released in 2010.

Following closely behind was Toy Story 3 on $649.2m, while Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time amassed $245m, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice took $152.8m and The Princess And The Frog grossed $134.6m this year and $163.8m overall.

Current releases Tangled and Tron: Legacy stand at more than $118m and $65.6m, respectively.

  • Paramount Pictures International reported its second best year-end tally of $1.98bn, led by Shrek Forever After on $505m. Other top earners were Marvel’s Iron Man 2 on $301m through PPI ($311m through all distributors), DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon on $277.5m, The Last Airbender on $187.5m, Shutter Island on $130m ($159m through all distributors) and Megamind on $125m and counting.
  • Sony Pictures Releasing International crossed $1bn for the 11th time as 2010 finished on $1.382bn. Key drivers were Resident Evil: Afterlife on $192.3m ($236m through all distributors), Salt on $175.7m, The Karate Kid on $175.5m ($182.5m through all distributors), Eat Pray Love on $123.6m, Grown Ups on $109.3m and The Social Network on $103m and counting.

Chico Xavier, a Brazilian co-production, grossed $17.2m to become the fifth biggest local film in history, while Sony’s local comedy Friendship! was the top grossing local film in the territory in 2010 on $15.4m.

  • Meanwhile Universal executives reported a projected year-end tally of $1.2bn – roughly the same result was it reported for 2009.

The company released two films that grossed more than $200m. The animated awards contender Despicable Me led the way on $291m followed by Robin Hood on $215m. It’s Complicated took $104m in 2010 and $114m overall, while The Wolfman earned $81m and Nanny McPhee Returns finished on $66m.