One particular Avengers: Endgame global box office opening record has been dusted. As it stands, the massive Marvel Studios event is still the highest grossing movie of all time at $2.79 billion. With that being said, James Cameron does plan on re-releasing Avatar into theaters before the sequels open, which could very well land the groundbreaking movie back in the number one spot, dethroning Avengers: Endgame in the process. As for whether or not that will still happen is anybody's guess at the moment.
China's Detective Chinatown 3 grossed $398 million last weekend, making it the biggest opening weekend ever in a single market. Avengers: Endgame held the previous record at $357 million. The Marvel Studios movie opened in 2019, which seems like a lifetime ago now, thanks to the public health crisis. At the time, nobody gave a second thought to getting into a sold out theater to sit with a bunch of strangers and share a major theatrical experience. For China to be cranking out that kind of box office money in 2021 is a pretty big deal.
In addition to holding the biggest box office opening weekend in a single market, Detective Chinatown 3 also holds the biggest opening in Chinese history. In addition the buddy comedy, which was shot entirely with IMAX cameras, is the biggest Chinese IMAX release, with $23.5 million. China is showing that it is possible for movie theaters to bounce back from the pandemic, and North American theater chains are taking notice. Analysts predict that American moviegoers could end up safely back in theaters by the end of this summer.
While the predictions for U.S. movie theaters looks good right now, that could change at any moment. With that being said, it seems that the large studios are banking on theaters being able to open by this fall at the latest, though studios like Warner Bros. still anticipate the hybrid release model, which sees their 2021 movies debuting on HBO Max on the same day they open in theaters, giving viewers the option of watching in the comfort of their own home or heading into theaters for the full experience.
For the most part, Chinese movie theaters have been open since last summer. As a result, studios are starting to see China as even more of an asset to global box office numbers than ever before. As for Marvel Studios attempting to best the latest Chinese box office numbers, they have three movies ready to go. Black Widow, Eternals, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are ready to go, but are waiting for theaters to be safely open. As it stands, the studio still intends to release Black Widow solely in theaters this May, which may or may not be able to happen. Deadline was the first to report on the Chinese box office records.