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Earlier this year, the unthinkable happened. After a decade as the undisputed box office king, where not a single other film even came close to sniffing its record, James Cameron’s Avatar saw its worldwide box office mark passed by Avengers: Endgame. But as D’Angelo Barksdale once said “The king stay the king” and director James Cameron has a plan for Avatar to beat Avengers: Endgame as the highest-grossing movie of all time at the worldwide box office.
That plan? A re-release of Avatar of course. Avatar celebrated its tenth anniversary this week and in the decade since it debuted, we still have yet to see even the first of the sci-fi film’s many discussed sequels. So James Cameron is intending a re-release in Avatar in advance of Avatar 2. The re-release of Avatar will remind audiences around the world of a property they may have forgotten about and drum up interest in the long-awaited sequel.
It’s essentially an ‘allow me to re-introduce myself’ move from James Cameron and one that the director believes will restore Avatar to its rightful place atop the box office throne. Speaking on the re-release, James Cameron addressed the possibility of Avatar surpassing Avengers: Endgame, saying:
I think it’s a certainty. But let’s give Endgame their moment and let’s celebrate that people are going to the movie theater.
What an absolute flex from James Cameron. His comments to USA Today reflect the complete confidence he has that his blue aliens, not Marvel’s purple one, will be wearing the crown when it’s all said and done. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ to him, it’s simply a matter of ‘when’.
James Cameron doesn’t want to rain on Marvel’s parade though and he has congratulated the Russo Brothers film for its monumental achievement. In the past, the director has actually said that seeing Endgame pass Avatar made him happy, not because his film got beat, but because it shows that people are still going to the movie theater. That gives him confidence that the Avatar sequels can also enjoy huge success and he affirms that here.
James Cameron’s confidence in Avatar surpassing Avengers: Endgame with a re-release is not misplaced. According to Box Office Mojo, Avengers: Endgame made $2,797,800,564 worldwide, while Avatar made $2,789,958,507. That means Avatar only needs its re-release to make $7,842,057 worldwide to reclaim the top spot.
Avatar should easily make that with a re-release. The modest nature of this hurdle is not lost on James Cameron, who continued, saying:
They beat us by one quarter of a percent. I did the math in my head while driving in this morning. I think accountants call that a rounding error.
Brilliant stuff from James Cameron. Now fans will no doubt quibble with a re-release counting towards the worldwide record, but if you factor in inflation, Avatar is still at the top anyways. Either way, both films have made an absolute ton of money and if nothing else, Avengers: Endgame beating Avatar has made the latter’s box office even more impressive, not less.
What will be particularly interesting to see is how well Avatar 2 does. I don’t think it has a chance at Avengers: Endgame’s opening weekend, either domestic or worldwide, but the sequels may surprise, because I suspect they are not going to fail like so many people seem to believe.
Avatar 2 opens in theaters on December 17, 2021. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what’s coming out next year and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest movie news.