Avatar is safe for now.
Over the weekend, Marvel and parent company Disney rereleased Avengers: Endgame with 18 seconds of additional footage in a bid to pass James Cameron’s blockbuster, which stands as the top-grossing film of all time at the worldwide box office.
Avengers: Endgame, directed by the Russo brothers, earned another $5.5 million domestically (it placed No. 7 on the weekend) and $2.3 million overseas for a revised worldwide total of $2.76 billion. That’s roughly $27 million shy of the $2.78 billion grossed by Avatar in its original run and subsequent rereleases.
Box office insiders say it would be impossible for Endgame to earn another $27 million in the immediate future.
For Marvel and Disney’s part, catching up with Avatar wasn’t the only reason for the quasi-rerelease (generally, rereleases happen months later). It was also an opportunity to piggyback on and promote Spider-Man: Far From Home, from Sony and Marvel Studios.
Far From Home begins rolling out in North American theaters on Monday night before playing everywhere on Tuesday. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige played a key role in shaping the new pic; ditto for the movie’s predecessor, Spider-Man: Homecoming. And the film’s star, Tom Holland, appears in Endgame.
The Avengers: Endgame rerelease even includes a promo for the newest Spider-Man installment, while Far From Home itself deals largely with the ramifications of Endgame, as Holland’s Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) and Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury adjust to a world without Iron Man and other key Avengers to defend it.
When Avengers: Endgame opened in theaters in late April, Marvel and Disney’s Captain Marvel — a character who likewise appears in Endgame — received a huge boost, even though that pic was well into its run.
The final Avengers film has been an enormous box office success and is the No. 2 title of all time. Its domestic tally stands at $841.3 million, while it has grossed $1.92 billion overseas.
While it won’t catch up with Avatar anytime soon, Disney and Marvel could stage another rerelease later this year, or even next year. Avatar’s global haul includes, for instance, more than $33 million in grosses earned when it was rereleased.