Will Avengers: Endgame Surpass Avatar as the Highest-Grossing Film of All-Time?
In case you haven’t heard, the latest installment in Marvel’s Avengers universe made some money—quite a bit of money, in fact. Avengers: Endgame, which was released in theaters back on April 26th, has thus far generated about $2.75 billion at the worldwide box office.
Endgame has passed 2009’s Avatar as the highest-grossing film of all-time based on each film’s initial theatrical run. Avatar racked up $2.749 billion at the box office on its first run in theaters after its release in December of 2009.
However, Avatar was re-released in theaters in April of 2010 exclusively in 3D and IMAX 3D theaters. The re-release included about nine minutes of additional footage as well as a number of other scenes that were cut from the original theatrical version. The re-release, which spanned 12 weeks, generated an additional $33 million at the worldwide box office.
So, if you include the re-release numbers, Avatar remains the highest-grossing theatrical film of all-time. James Cameron’s sci-fi odyssey generated $2.788 billion at the box office during its extended runs.
In an attempt to catch Avatar, while also drumming up interest for the upcoming release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Marvel has decided to re-release Endgame. Because the upcoming Spider-Man film deals with the aftereffects of what transpired in Endgame, it only makes sense for viewers to experience the films back-to-back.
Oddsmakers have afforded entertainment bettors the opportunity to wager on whether the re-release of Endgame will help Marvel’s masterpiece surpass Avatar’s decade-old record at the box office.
Will Endgame Break Avatar’s Box Office Record as the Highest-Grossing Film of All-Time?
- Yes -115
- No -105
What Comes With the Endgame Re-Release?
As was the case with Avatar’s re-release, the re-released version of Endgame will also feature new footage and scenes that were not a part of the original version. In an attempt to drum up even more interest, those that purchase tickets for the re-release will receive “an exclusive piece of Avengers art (available in select theaters until supplies run out).”
Rumors are swirling regarding the unseen footage that will be a part of the re-released version of Endgame. The most common rumor is that the film will include a brand-new post-credits scene that will reward those willing to stick around through the credits at the end.
However, unlike Avatar’s re-release and other films that have released “special editions,” the re-release version of Endgame will not be throwing deleted scenes into the main storyline. Instead, any deleted scenes, as well as a “tribute” (to Tony Stark, perhaps?), will come after the credits. Marvel boss Kevin Feige said at a press event for Spider-Man that the re-release will also include “surprises.”
There is a chance that the post-credits scene includes a potential alternate ending for Endgame, but some believe we are likely to see some sort of hint regarding what could be coming next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For example, there is a Black Widow movie in production. Could we see a sneak peek of the newest Scarlett Johansson adventure? Could a Hawkeye film be on the way? Might we see something about the in-production sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange? There is really no limit to the possibilities, which is part of the allure when it comes to the Endgame re-release.
Will Endgame Surpass Avatar?
It’s easy to forget just how amazing the run for Avatar was, considering we are now a decade removed from its arrival. However, Cameron’s epic racked up $77 million in the United States upon opening and remained in the Top 10 in earnings for 14 consecutive weeks. It was the No. 1 movie in America from its December release until the end of January in 2010.
Some believed that Star Wars’ highly-anticipated return back in 2015 would be the one to dethrone Avatar. While The Force Awakens did wind up coming close, the $2.07 billion it generated puts it just fourth all-time behind Avatar, Endgame, and another Cameron classic, Titanic.
Endgame has enjoyed an incredible run of its own. The latest Avengers installment generated $1.2 billion worldwide upon its opening, and it is now the second highest-grossing movie ever. That’s quite an accomplishment.
However, there is still a large gap between the Top 2. $44 million may not sound like a lot of money considering we have been talking about billions of dollars, but that’s still no small amount. The re-release should spark a little additional interest, but the film’s performance has been steadily declining at the box office.
Frankly, those that have interest in seeing Endgame have likely already done so, and those that haven’t will likely just wait for its release on DVD or Blu-Ray. The movie is no longer in the Top 10 domestically, and interest around the world has stagnated as well. This is predictable, of course.
Will a post-credits tease of some sort be enough to generate an additional $40 million in ticket sales? That seems like an awfully steep hill to climb, and I’m not convinced there is enough alluring content to keep people coming to theaters in droves.
It’s also worth noting that Endgame’s re-release is happening far closer to its original release date than Avatar’s. That matters, too. This movie has only been in theaters for about two months. Avatar’s re-release didn’t come until eight months after its original release in December of 2009. Obviously, people are far more likely to want to see a movie for a second (or third, or however many) if more time has elapsed between viewings. There are exceptions, of course, but that seems logical.
While a re-release of Endgame will add a few more bucks to their bottom line, I don’t think it will end up breaking Avatar’s record. It should help drive up some interest for July 3rd’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, but I don’t see Avengers catching up to Avatar.