Avengers: Endgame is no longer the highest-grossing movie in history.
The 2019 Marvel blockbuster has relinquished the coveted title to James Cameron’s Avatar, the previous record-holder.
Before Endgame’s arrival, Avatar ruled the global box-office for a decade with US$2.789 billion (S$3.75 bil). Then Endgame entered the fray and unseated Avatar with a worldwide haul of US$2.7902 billion.
On Friday (Mar 12), Avatar returned to the cinemas in China — the world's second-largest movie market after the US — and grossed US$3.5 million, pushing its total earnings to US$2.7926 billion. After this weekend, it’s expected to take home US$2.802 billion.
Per Variety, Avatar producer Jon Landau said, “We are proud to reach this great milestone, but Jim and I are most thrilled that the film is back in theaters during these unprecedented times, and we want to thank our Chinese fans for their support. We are hard at work on the next Avatar films and look forward to sharing the continuation of this epic story for years to come.”
The four (!) Avatar sequels are slated to drop in Dec 2022, Dec 2024, Dec 18 2026 and Dec 2028, respectively
Meanwhile, Marvel Studios graciously conceded defeat, writing on Instagram, “Congratulations to James Cameron, Jon Landau, and ALL of Na'vi Nation for reclaiming the box office crown! We love you 3000.”
Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, in their concession speech, if you can call it that, wrote on Instagram, “Passing the gauntlet back to you...”
Maybe Endgame can return to the top spot when it is re-released for its 10th anniversary. But that's another story for another time. In Singapore, Endgame remains the top-grossing movie of all-time with S$19.56 million while Avatar took home S$11.4 million. (Figures not adjusted to inflation.)
For Disney, who owns Marvel Studios, it doesn’t matter which movie is at the top — they both belong to the Magic Kingdom.
Though Avatar was a 20th Century Fox release, Disney now owns the franchise after it bought the studio over in 2019. (20th Century Fox is later rebranded as 20th Century Studios.)
Thanks to that US$71.3 billion acquisition, Disney has eight of the 10-highest grossing movies. Besides Endgame and Avatar, it also has Titanic (US$2.47 billion) — another former 20th Century Fox property — Star Wars: The Force Awakens (US$2.068 billion), Avengers: Infinity War (US$2.048 billion), The Lion King (US$1.657 billion), Marvel’s The Avengers (US$1.518 billion), and Frozen (U$1.45 billion).
Photos: TPG News/Click Photos