Avatar set an opening day record in China after grossing an estimated $5.3m on January 4 according to Fox International, and added approximately $4.4m on the second day for an early $9.7m running total.

The film’s international tally currently stands at more than $731m and it has overtaken Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest to rank as the third highest grossing worldwide release on $1.098bn.

Weng Li, spokesperson for China Film Group, predicted that the film would overhaul 2012’s 460m yuan ($67.3m) mark to become the highest grossing Hollywood release in China and may even cross 500m yuan.

“I think it has very good momentum,” Weng told the Associated Press. “I think it should break the 2012 record.”

Films that gross more than 100m yuan in China ($14.6m) are regarded as hits and Avatar would appear to be on course to surpass that total by the weekend.

Cameron is no stranger to Chinese audiences. Titanic grossed 360m yuan back in 1998 – a record that remained unbeaten until Transformers: Revege Of The Fallen and then 2012 came along last year – and promoted Avatar in Beijing last month.

A spokesperson for the Hong Kong distributor for 20th Century Fox said the film had amassed $10.9m (84.8m Hong Kong dollars) in Hong Kong through January 5.