Marvel fans have been eyeballing the box office total for Avengers: Endgame over the past handful of weeks, wondering whether or not it will be able to overtake Avatar as the highest-grossing movie of all time. The jury is still out on that one, but this weekend the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe did actually overtake James Cameron's 2009 sci-fi epic in one very important category. Avengers: Endgame, with this weekend's additional revenue, officially passed Avatar's original release total.
Avatar currently has amassed $2.787 billion at the global box office. Given the tremendous, record-breaking hit that it was, Fox decided to give the movie a couple of extra bumps and an official re-release, which gave it an additional $38 million. The original, theatrical cut of Avatar finished its run with $2,749,064,328. Over the weekend, with an additional $1.8 million added to its total domestically, Avengers: Endgame now sits at $2,749,603,966. That means, by a very slim margin, Iron Man and the gang have overtaken the Na'vi, when looking at what the original release of the theatrical cut brought in.
Just to give a little breakdown, Fox re-released Avatar in 2010 and, worldwide, the re-release brought in $33 million. But when the theatrical cut was still winding down its first run, the studio pushed a special release that generated an additional $5 million. And that's where the $38 million came from that Avengers: Endgame will need in order to actually take the number one spot at the global box office. The question now becomes, does it have any chance of doing so?
Marvel is already preparing to generate some additional buzz for Avengers: Endgame this coming weekend, as they will be re-releasing the movie with some additional post-credit footage, which is said to be about six minutes in length. It's difficult to imagine this alone would be enough to bring in an additional $39 million or so, but it's a start. If Marvel Studios and Disney get serious about an awards season campaign for the blockbuster later this year, they could do a proper re-release and that's where the extra push it needs could truly come from.
That said, even if Avengers: Endgame does take the box office crown by the end of 2019, it may not hold onto it for long. James Cameron's Avatar 2, which will be released by Disney (thanks to the merger with Fox) is set to hit theaters in December 2021. As sure as the sky as blue, Disney will do another re-release of Avatar ahead of the release date, since it will have been more than a decade between installments. Depending on how close it is, if Avengers: Endgame takes the top spot at all, that eventual, likely re-release could tip the scales yet again. Point being, this is a battle that could be going on for some time. Numbers used in this report were provided by Box Office Mojo.