LOS ANGELES (AFP) - "Avatar: The Way of Water" continued to dominate the box-office charts, taking in an estimated $15.7 million this weekend in North American theaters to make it the fourth-leading global grosser of all time.
The Disney/20thCentury sci-fi film, directed by James Cameron, "has been #1 for 7 straight weeks… a feat that hasn't been accomplished" since Cameron issued the original "Avatar" in 2009, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said on Twitter.
Hefty results from theaters around the world -- including $237 million in ticket sales in China -- helped boost "The Way of Water" to fourth place globally all-time at $2.117 billion, unadjusted for inflation.
That means Cameron now has his name on three of the four top grossers ever: the original "Avatar," "Titanic" and "The Way of Water" ("Avengers: Endgame" from Disney and Marvel sneaks in at second).
In second place for the North American weekend was Universal's family-friendly "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish," at $10.6 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period.
In third, up two spots from last weekend, was Sony's feel-good "A Man Called Otto," at $6.8 million. Tom Hanks plays the title curmudgeon in the adaptation of Swedish novel "A Man Called Ove."
Scary-doll thriller "M3GAN" from Universal and Blumhouse Productions took in $6.4 million to place fourth. It has an android doll, created as a companion to a young orphan, turning steadily creepier.
And Yash Raj Films' new action thriller "Pathaan" placed fifth at $5.9 million, an impressive North American total for a Hindi-language film. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, known as the "King of Bollywood," in a story about spies, rogue agents and a deadly lab-generated virus.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
"Missing" ($5.7 million)
"Plane" ($3.9 million)
"Infinity Pool" ($2.7 million)
"Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist" ($2.3 million)
"The Wandering Earth 2" ($1.4 million)