The release (and subsequent box office success) of 2019's acclaimed Avengers: Endgame marked the end of another film's reign. The Russos-helmed Marvel film beat out James Cameron’s Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time. The MCU film managed to hold the title for a little, much to the delight of Marvel fans. But now, the roles have been reversed since, as of this weekend, Avatar has taken its crown back. But upon hearing the news, the Russo Brothers took it in stride with a congratulatory response on social media.
The benchmark for the highest-grossing film keeps getting raised higher and higher every year (well, except for 2020). Avengers: Endgame’s race to beat Avatar was filled with anxiety and anticipation. The competition even caused a little friction between Avatar fans and the MCU fandom. But now the James Cameron-helmed film regained its title due to being re-released in theaters in China. And instead of being salty about the news, Joe and Anthony Russo warmly congratulated the Oscar-winning director on Twitter. Their cool post even pays tribute to Avengers: Infinity War, so check it out below:
The Russos’ gracious acknowledgment of Avatar’s takeback proved just how the competition is more between the fandoms than the filmmakers. Their response was also reciprocal of James Cameron’s response to Avengers: Endgame breaking Avatar’s record. All involved seem more excited over the fact that people are still going to theaters despite shifting business models and the current pandemic. But given Avatar’s recent success and theater re-openings, fans are still more than eager to head out for a good time at the movies.
The news of Avatar regaining its title is great for James Cameron, especially given what he's been working on. The director is currently working on Avatar 3 after wrapping up Avatar 2. This recent success could also add to the hype that already surrounds the upcoming Avatar films. And if the sequels break the box office, it only bodes well for the franchise moving forward.
With that said, Marvel could see Avatar’s success and decide to re-release Avengers: Endgame so it can snatch back the title. It could go back and forth if the pandemic continues and re-releases become the next trend in Hollywood. But if this were to happen, it would only be a win-win for Disney, as the two films are the property of the company. In other words, the House of Mouse just can't lose.
At the end of the day, Disney has two of the highest-grossing films of all time, an impressive feat to say the least. Avatar’s success proves not only how much audiences still enjoy the film but just how much of a powerhouse Disney still is when it comes to its properties. And the Avatar sequels and the MCU’s Phase Four playing out over the next few years, Disney might continue its dominance over this decade, just as it did in the 2010s.