Avengers: Endgame undoubtedly was a very expensive film to make, but just how much money did it cost? After 11 years and 21 films of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, the culmination of the Infinity Saga (but not Phase 3) is about to blast its way into theaters and potentially rewrite the record books in the process. Ever since Infinity War ended with the harrowing Decimation, die-hard MCU fans and casual audiences alike have been clamoring to see the conclusion of this story, eagerly anticipating the surviving Avengers' mega showdown against Thanos.
Given the sheer number of characters, immense scope, and intense action sequences in both Infinity War and Endgame, it should be clear at the outset that these are not cheap movies. Even by the standards of the modern blockbuster, these Avengers installments boast price tags that would make most studio executives balk and turn the other way. The only reason Marvel was afforded the incredible funds to make these is that outside of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there's never been a surer bet at the box office. And, it should be noted, Endgame's budget blows anything Lucasfilm has paid for out of the water.
Reportedly, Endgame cost anywhere between $350-400 million to produce. Unadjusted for inflation, that undoubtedly makes it one of the most expensive films ever made - if not the most. The current official record-holder is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which cost $379 million. Infinity War came in at $316 million and Age of Ultron cost $365 million. No other MCU installment had a budget of more than $230 million (Captain America: Civil War).
Update: Avengers: Endgame broke box office records with a $1.2 billion opening.
Obviously, this means Endgame's break even point is so large, that it would be a respectable final gross for just about any other movie. But if any film is going to accomplish that feat, it's this one. Thousands of Endgame screenings across the country are already sold out, and in the first week of advanced ticket sales, it sold five times as many as Infinity War. Marvel's latest is poised to shatter the all-time domestic and global opening weekend marks, by virtue of it opening in China the same time as most of the world. Even the rosiest Marvel fan may not have predicted these kinds of commercial figures, but by the time Infinity War and Endgame were in development, the studio knew what they had. The first two Avengers films made more than $1 billion, so a monumental crossover event involving all corners of the MCU was a surefire success from the jump.
In the case of something like Black Panther or Captain Marvel, $1 billion is an undisputed triumph. As crazy as it sounds, in order for Endgame to truly be considered a box office success, it probably needs to match or surpass Infinity War's $2 billion gross, becoming only the fifth film in history to earn that much. At this point, it would be surprising if it did not, so Avengers: Endgame is most definitely going to be another profitable endeavor for Marvel Studios.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019