Last weekend’s mighty overseas launch for Avatar has propelled Fox International past the $2bn mark in overseas ticket sales for the third time in the company’s history.

Fox International crossed the threshold on Monday [December 21] and becomes the second studio this year after Sony Pictures Releasing International and only the sixth in history to achieve the feat. Fox International has crossed $2bn in ticket sales twice before.

The chief driver for the year was Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, which has been far and away the biggest international release of 2009 on $690.8m.

Fox International’s other key performers thus far have been Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian on $237.6m, followed by Avatar, which has amassed $193.8m after six days in release and will overtake Night At The Museum 2 by the end of the weekend.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine amassed $194.9m, followed by several titles that launched in 2008: Australia reached $159.2m, Marley & Me $100.7m, and Valkyrie $91m.

Fox International executives will release year-end figures early in the New Year and are confident of building substantially on the $2bn international running total with another nine days to go this year for Avatar and Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel set to launch in more than 40 territories this weekend.