‘Avatar’ Retakes All-Time Box Office Crown From ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Meet the new box-office champ. (Same as the old box-office champ.)
Avengers: Endgame became the biggest film in box-office history when it opened in theaters in the summer of 2019. Its $2.79 billion narrowly beat the previous champion, Avatar from 2009. That’s the way things stood until this weekend, when Avatar was re-released in China, where it promptly grossed $12.3 million — giving it a new grand total of $2.802 billion. That means that Avatar is back on top of the all-time box office chart.
The Russo brothers, directors of Avengers: Endgame, were gracious in their defeat (at least until the next Endgame re-release), posting an image on Instagram of the Avengers logo getting snapped out of existence and being replaced by the unmistakeable Papyrus font of the Avatar logo. Their caption read “Passing the gauntlet back to you... James Cameron.”
Cameron thanked the fans in China for showing up for the movie (some, as you’ll see, in elaborate Na’vi costumes), writing “this crown belongs to Na’vi nation.” (Thanks to Titanic, Cameron has directed two of the three biggest movies in history.)
The all-time box-office top five now looks like this (via Box Office Mojo):
- Avatar - $2.802 billion
- Avengers: Endgame - $2.797 billion
- Titanic - $2.471 billion
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens - $2.068 billion
- Avengers: Infinity War - $2.048 billion
Of course these are numbers that do not take inflation into consideration. Once you do that, the biggest domestic hit in history is still Gone With the Wind. (Avatar and Avengers: Endgame are only 15th and 16th on that list, respectively.) But Avatar will get the next chance to throw an absurd box-office total on this list; Avatar 2 will finally open in theaters around Christmas of 2022. At present, Avengers 5 has not been officially announced.
Gallery — The Biggest Second Weekends in Box Office History: