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I'm seeing a lot of naysayers out there now. Debbie Downers. They no longer believe Avengers: Endgame will top Avatar as the highest-grossing movie of all time. Blasphemers. Listen, I no longer think Endgame will top Avatar by the end of May -- I flew way too close to the sun on that call -- but it will seal the deal eventually. I still think it will happen this summer. Worst case scenario, it takes a re-release like Avatar got to pick up an extra $30 million or so. Since the gap is currently about $110.5 million in total, every million counts.
Avengers: Endgame's current worldwide gross is $2,677,472,736.
Avatar's worldwide gross is $2,787,965,087.
Before Avengers: Endgame came out, there was talk that it had potential to top Avatar. Some scoffed at the idea, but they stopped after that massive record opening weekend. However, some doubters are back, saying it will be a tough climb for Endgame to close the deal now:
It's slowed down more than we all expected.
That's the word from Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice Media, to THR. He had predicted Endgame passing Avatar in mid-June. Now he has moved his prediction to Labor Day. However, he added this caveat:
If it performs like it has been up to this point, there is about a $10 million to $20 million margin that falls half north and half south of Avatar. But it would be surprising if Disney didn’t get it there somehow.
If Avengers: Endgame gets within $10-$20 million, do a big marketing campaign to push it over the edge -- or take a break and then come back for a re-release. James Cameron's 2010 re-release gave Avatar an extra $10.74 million at the domestic box office and $22.46 overseas for a total boost of $33.2 million. If Marvel makes a production about a last call to see Avengers: Endgame before it's pulled from many theaters, fans will head out to help it pass Avatar.
That's a key difference here. There's a movement. After 10 years of Avatar rule, fans are ready for a new champion. There's a push for Endgame, which is considered worthy of the new title. When Endgame passed Titanic, there were cheers. Endgame has already passed Avatar at the domestic box office, but it's the overall worldwide total that really counts. (Endgame is not going to pass the domestic box office leader, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But it has already passed that movie in total worldwide gross.)
Labor Day sounds like a fine time to pass Avatar, from here. Avatar took a lot longer to get to where it is, with its run compared to more of a marathon than Endgame's current sprint. Avatar spent over 60 weeks in theaters.
Avengers: Endgame has been out for five weeks and it's still ranked #3 on the box office charts during a competitive Memorial Day weekend. It just made $16.8 million at the domestic box office this weekend. Yeah, it played on 410 fewer screens than last week. Week to week, we're going to see Endgame lose screens as films like Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, and more show up. But Avengers: Endgame is going to keep at least one screen in many theaters through the summer. It's the other smaller films that will be completely pushed aside.
I still believe Endgame will close that $110 million gap, thanks in part to U.S./Canada fans still buying repeat tickets, but also from the all-important international box office. Endgame has already made $1.8 billion dollars at the foreign box office, per Box Office Mojo. International fans are in this game right alongside the rest of us. We're going to get this job done eventually, and I won't be surprised if it's before Labor Day. Marvel Studios could even openly advertise it as an Avatar battle. Call it what it is. A fight to the finish.
What say you? Will Avengers: Endgame still top Avatar? If so, when? Do you have a revised prediction?