Despite the odds, Avengers: Endgame managed to surpass 2009's Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time (before inflation). Endgame had a fantastic start at the box office, but over the last month or two, its financial progress seriously began to dwindle, leading many to believe that it would not make it to the number one spot. However, thanks to its re-release and an extra bump from the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Avengers: Endgame managed to reach the top of the "highest grossing" list. Unfortunately for Marvel fans, this victory may not last for as long as they may hope.
Avengers: Endgame now sits at $2,790,849,263 at the global box office, which is only about 1 million over Avatar's $2,789,679,794. Avengers: Endgame is not expected to make very much more than it already has, as its time at the box office has seriously slowed down. Disney may finally be pulling it from theaters now that the record has been met, and considering that it releases digitally in one week. While one would think that Avengers: Endgame's record won't be beat until a movie releases that is bigger than it (which is probably going to be a long time from now), its biggest threat is actually the movie it just passed.
After its initial rerelease, Avatar was re-released in theaters, with its first rerelease raking in around $35 million about 8 months after its initial release. With four more Avatar movies being slated for the next decade, there is no question that interest will return to this incredibly successful movie. Since re-releases proved to be profitable for Avatar in the past, it's incredibly likely that Disney, the current owners of the property, may seek to repeat this process going forward just to rake in some extra cash at the box office.
Earlier this year, in an interview with Barron's, Disney CEO Bob Iger expressed his high hopes for the future of Avatar, stating, "It didn't do $2.6 billion worldwide by accident. There's something there." A few years ago, Disney bought the rights to make Avatar-themed attractions at their theme parks, and the company is 100% on board with continuing this franchise after acquiring it from Fox. Because of this, it's safe to assume that Disney will be attempting to squeeze as much money out of this property as they can in the coming years.
With the coming sequels, a theatrical re-release of Avatar doesn't sound too far fetched. The movie will likely receive a limited re-release alongside the release of Avatar 2. The sequel will undoubtedly make people become interested in the original yet again, so Disney would be foolish not to put the first movie back in theaters, which would give fans the option to see both movies as a double feature if they so choose.
While a re-release of Avatar may not make absolute bank like the original release of the movie, it would surely rake in at least a few million if marketed right. Considering that Avengers: Endgame is only about a million dollars over Avatar, a re-release of Avatar will likely put Endgame back into the second place spot. Considering Bob Iger's great interest in exploring the success of Avatar as revealed by Barron's, this hypothetical scenario actually seems pretty likely. Avengers: Endgame's victory is certainly well deserved, but it may only last for about another year.