Avengers: Endgame has enjoyed even more success than predicted, pushing the worldwide gross of the Marvel Cinematic Universe past the $20 billion mark. The eagerly-awaited superhero movie picks up in the wake of last year's Infinity War, which saw Thanos turn half of the universe - and half of the franchise's star-studded cast - into dust. Leaving audiences on that sombre note, the year-long wait for Endgame created an unparalleled sense of anticipation, as MCU fans speculated feverishly as to how the likes of Spider-Man, Black Panther and Doctor Strange could be brought back to a life, and how the purple villain who killed them could be stopped.
The MCU is certainly no stranger to box office success and it was widely predicted before the film's release that Endgame would become the franchise's top earner but even by those standards, Endgame's performance over the past week has been impressive. The fourth Avengers movie achieved the highest grossing single day and opening day of all time, beating out Star Wars: The Force Awakens with $156.7 million domestically, and enjoyed the highest-grossing opening weekend worldwide, overtaking predecessor Infinity War by a considerable margin. In perhaps a sign of things to come, Endgame is also the fastest movie to hit the $1 billion mark.
Naturally, Endgame's record-breaking showing at theaters has provided a huge boost to the MCU's overall combined worldwide gross and (via The Wrap) that figure has now hit $20 billion. Bearing the brunt of this total are the four Avengers movies, as well as the phenomenally successful Black Panther, but the franchise has never had a genuine financial flop and so every MCU movie in the series' 11-year history can claim to have contributed to this milestone.
The MCU was already history's most lucrative movie franchise (without adjusting for inflation) in terms of box office by a sizeable distance, thanks in part to the sheer amount of releases included under the banner, but this latest Endgame-fueled increase serves to cement that position even further and it's very difficult to see another property overtaking that record any time soon. Perhaps the more pertinent question is exactly where the MCU is headed next, both on and off screen. How long can this unrivaled dominance continue? Will the success last until Marvel run out of characters, or will audiences reach a point where they've had enough of superheroes on the big screen?
The James Camerons of the world will perhaps suggest that Marvel's big screen dominance is a bad thing for cinema - that it stunts creative diversity and the production of original material. However, Marvel's fans will point out that in addition to box office success, the MCU franchise has also been widely lauded by both critics and fans and as long as that quality is maintained, long may it reign. Furthermore, the MCU's scope is wide enough to encompass several different genres, with the likes of Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy taking a more comedic approach and big team-ups such as Avengers: Endgame delivering the drama.
Source: The Wrap
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019