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Avengers: Endgame May Still Not Reach Avatar’s Box Office (Even With The Re-Release)

Avengers: Endgame is getting a re-release with extra surprises at the end of the credits, but that still may not be enough to top Avatar's all-time global box office record. Released in 2009, James Cameron's sci-fi epic proved all of the naysayers wrong with an incredible run that eventually totaled $2.788 billion worldwide. The film had uncommonly strong legs during its box office run; it opened with $77 million domestically and stayed in the top 10 for a whopping 14 weeks. It was the #1 movie in America from the time it opened in late December to the end of January 2010. As the only major genre film on the market, it dominated the multiplex.

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Not even the much-celebrated return of the Star Wars franchise in 2015 could unseat Avatar from the top spot on the worldwide charts. And there wasn't a legitimate challenger for the record until Avengers: Endgame came out this past April. Billed as the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity Saga, the blockbuster was a monumental event the likes of which the film industry hasn't seen in a long time. Opening with an incredible $1.2 billion worldwideEndgame rose up the ranks in the blink of an eye, but it looks like it'll finish just below Avatar's haul. Even with the recently announced re-release for next week, the gap remains too large.

Related: Endgame Won't Beat The Force Awakens Domestically - Here's Why

As of June 18, 2019, Endgame's worldwide total stands at $2.744 billion. This means it is $44 million short of tying the record. At first glance, that seems like chump change for Marvel, but in reality it's a sizable sum of money that'll be tough to earn. For starters, Endgame business is now on a steady decline. After seven weeks, it's out of the top 10 on the domestic weekend charts and no longer a huge draw internationally. There are die-hards continuing to go for repeat viewings, but casual audiences seem to have had their Endgame fill for the time being. While the additional post-credits bits will be fun to see, they aren't "important" enough to attract general moviegoers. Perhaps if this re-release (which is really a re-expansion) took place months from now instead of so soon after the initial run, there'd be more of a desire to see the movie on the big screen again. Toy Story 4 is about to come out and will be the film of choice for the next couple of weeks.

Avengers Endgame Avatar Cover

There's also no guarantee that the re-release would add that much to the bottom line. Coincidentally, Avatar got a special edition re-release of its own in August 2010, which grossed roughly $33.1 million worldwide over 12 weekends. In the event Endgame were to match that, it would still fall about $12.6 million shy of the record. And much like a traditional theatrical release, the new version of Endgame is going to make most of its money at the start before falling off. Going back to Avatar's special edition, that made $4 million from 812 locations domestically in its first weekend, but by the third it was only hitting $731,000. Additionally, it's unknown how long this new Endgame engagement will be. It could just be for a week or two like Once Upon a Deadpool.

It's fun to view Endgame's re-release as Marvel's bid to beat Avatar, but this is more likely a strategic marketing play since Spider-Man: Far From Home is right around the corner. If fans want to see Endgame again right before Far From Home, they'll have the opportunity and get a special reward for sticking around through the 3-hour epic again. Endgame co-director Anthony Russo went on record to say he doesn't care about passing Avatar at the box office, and while "the #1 movie of all-time" is a nice bragging right, most at Marvel are probably content "settling" for second place. Endgame had a great run whichever way one looks at it, and it's hard to be disappointed.

More: Endgame Didn't Make $3 Billion - Is It A Success or Failure?

Key Release Dates
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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