Avengers: Endgame has officially passed Avatar at the domestic box office. James Cameron’s sci-fi epic was released in 2009 and, thanks in part to a lack of direct competition at the time of release, coupled with its stunning visual achievements, the movie had a historic run at the box office, making it the highest-grossing movie ever worldwide. It’s held that title for nearly a decade, but Marvel’s latest is getting ever nearer to overtaking it.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum topped the box office this weekend with a surprising $57 million take. However, Avengers: Endgame still managed to come in second place on its fourth weekend with an estimated $29.4 million. That now puts its domestic total at $770.8 million. Avatar, for its part, took in $760.5 million during its run, including its re-release. Avengers: Endgame is now the second-highest-grossing movie ever domestically, behind the seemingly uncatchable Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which managed an astonishing $936.6 million.
With its haul over the weekend, Avengers: Endgame now has $1.84 billion to its name internationally, giving it a grand total of $2.61 billion. Avatar is still in the top spot worldwide with $2.78 billion. The question that has been begging to be answered ever since the MCU crossover event from directors Joe and Anthony Russo had a historic, record-breaking opening weekend is will this movie finally be the one to beat Avatar? Even though it doesn’t seem to be that far off, it actually could come down to the wire and is far from a sure thing. What’s more, we could have a game of switcheroo here, depending on how things play out. Allow me to explain.
At this point, given the rate of box office decline week-to-week for Avengers: Endgame, coupled with extremely heavy competition coming down the pipeline in the coming weeks such as Aladdin, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Rocketman, Dark Phoenix, The Secret Life of Pets 2, Men In Black: International and Toy Story 4, the race to get that additional $174 million or so needed to pass Avatar is going to be very tough. If it happens at all, it’s going to be by a very small margin. But, Avatar may not be done just yet.
Disney recently set the release date for Avatar 2 for 2021, more than a decade after the original. So, one would suspect that the Mouse House may do some kind of re-release for the original ahead of the sequel’s release. If that does indeed come to pass, even if Avengers: Endgame narrowly passes Avatar in the coming months, James Cameron’s sci-fi flick could take the crown back with an eventual re-release.
Granted, much of this is speculative. Either way, what Avengers: Endgame has managed to do is truly impressive and no matter what title winds up on top, both of these movies accomplished something that likely won’t be matched again until inflation gets to a point where it becomes far less impressive. These numbers were provided by Box Office Mojo.