Get out of the way, Jim Cameron and your blue cat people, there’s a new box office sherriff in town.
Avengers: Endgame has now officially passed 2009’s Avatar to become the highest grossing film of all time, per a Deadline report. The film’s precise haul hasn’t been calculated just yet but as of Friday night, it stood at $2,789.2 billion and needed just $500,000 in sales to pass James Cameron’s opus. Endgame is expected to have zoomed past that mark now.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige thanked fans during his SDCC 2019 appearance for breaking the record. Avengers: Endgame was re-released on June 28 with an added deleted scene and tribute to Stan Lee with pretty much the expressed purpose of beating this record. The film’s box office earnings had stagnated $37 million short of Avatar and the re-release finally took it over the top.
Though Avengers: Endgame is the highest grossing film of all time worldwide, Star Wars: The Force Awakens still holds the domestic box office crown with $936.6 million in sales.
On its way to becoming the top grossing film of all time, Avengers: Endgame broke pretty much every other record too. It all began with a massive opening weekend. Disney’s conclusion to this era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe made nearly $1.2 billion worldwide in its opening weekend. That’s by far the best opening weekend of all time. In fact, it’s the first film to ever cross $1 billion in such a short time frame (five days). Avengers: Infinity War took 11 days.
Domestically, Avengers: Endgame took in $350 million. That breaks the opening weekend record by nearly $100 million. That record previously belonged to Avengers: Infinity War, and its now-puny $257 million. On a more granular domestic level, Avengers: Endgame absolutely dominated, The film shattered the opening night record with $60 million on Thursday night screenings alone, which topped the $57 million earned by Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in 2015. Endgame‘s first day gross was $156.7 million. That’s, say it with me, another record. Its Saturday ($109 million) and Sunday ($84.3 million) earnings broke records too.
But it’s the international realm that catapaulted Endgame to this truly ludicrous feat. Disney and Marvel adopted the aggressive release strategy of releasing it in pretty much every available international market prior to the domestic release. The opening day in China set a record with $107 million in ticket sales. The full haul is now in China is estimated to be $330.5 million. According to a Disney release, Endgame had the biggest single-day grosses in 29 markets, including Australia, China, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, and U.K./Ireland. It was also the biggest opening weekend in 44 markets.
Avengers: Endgame is the 8th Marvel film to cross $1 billion globally and the second this year after Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel took about a month to reach that feat. Endgame did it in its opening weekend. Oh and Avengers: Endgame is also now has the highest grossing IMAX debut ($91.5 million) because why not.
“Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theatre both in terms of storytelling and at the box office,” Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, said in a statment. “Though Endgame is far from an end for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these first 22 films constitute a sprawling achievement, and this weekend’s monumental success is a testament to the world they’ve envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world.”
Avengers: Endgame opened in more than 4,600 theaters this weekend, also a record. There were reports that some theaters were planning on staying open for 72 hours straight and even some theaters that were showing nothing but the final Avengers installment.
Avengers: Endgame features some concepts that one would think would get in the way of tremendous box office earnings, like a three hour run time and some, let’s say, sci-fi elements. Still it’s clear that the 11 years of good will and 22 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ensured that fans would see this movie…whatever it takes.
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