Hear Us Out: Endgame Still Faces Uphill Climb To Avatar, Even With New Footage

Marvel makes a move to make Endgame the biggest movie ever, but will it work? We break down the numbers.

by | June 20, 2019 | Comments

Those in the industry keeping an eye on the progress of Avengers: Endgame in its hunt to take down the global box record set by Avatar are probably some combination of bored, tired, and frustrated. It must feel like watching a sporting event with the most incredible offensive performance in the first half and a slow petering out in the second. Nevertheless, it has seemed inevitable for weeks now that Disney and Marvel would need to take alternative routes if they were indeed dead-set on achieving that ultimate goal: Beating Avatar’s global haul of $2,787,965,087 ($2.79 billion). As of Tuesday, Endgame is currently at $2,744,012,261 ($2.74 billion), or $43,952,826 million behind.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced on Tuesday that Avengers: Endgame’s theatrical run is far from finished. The Marvel behemoth is taking a major step to snatch up more millions in the box office race: Come next week there will be “a deleted scene, a little tribute, and a few surprises” for those who make it out to see Endgame again. But unlike those who bought tickets to Meet Joe Black back in 1998 to get their first whiff of The Phantom Menace trailer, fans will have to wait through the three-hour film to get their new kernels during the end credits.

20th Century Fox
(Photo by © Twentieth Century Fox)

Will this be enough to bring Avengers: Endgame over the finish line? The quick answer is probably no, but it is worth exploring its chances – beginning with its path to the present. When Endgame opened on April 25 with Thursday night previews, it grossed $357.1 million through Sunday night. That was $99.4 million more than Star Wars: The Force Awakens made in December 2015. Despite such an incredible head start, it would still end up well short of Awakens’ domestic record of $936.6 million; Endgame was at $831.7 million on Tuesday, good enough for second all-time at the domestic box office.


  • Weekend #2 – $147,383,211 (#2 second weekend all-time)
  • Weekend #3 – $63,299,904 (#4 third weekend all-time)
  • Weekend #4 – $29,973,505 (#5 fourth weekend all-time)
  • Weekend #5 – $17,200,742 (#13 fifth weekend all-time)
  • Weekend #6 – $8,037,491 (#77 sixth weekend all-time)
  • Weekend #7 – $4,870,963 (#146 seventh weekend all-time)
  • Weekend #8 – $3,725,855 (#134 eighth weekend all-time)

Some of those later numbers get skewed in the weeds of platform releases and award chasers getting later wide launches, but that is still quite the drop from weekend five to six. Three new releases this week will likely push Endgame out of the top 10 temporarily, but the new launch with extra footage may help it reclaim the slot it has held for eight weeks. (Avatar spent 14 straight weeks in the top 10; The Force Awakens spent 10.)

The most successful re-releases in the past have been those that have offered new experiences. The special editions of the original Star Wars trilogy in 1997 included renewed special effects as well as excised and new footage that resulted in grosses of $138.2 million (Star Wars), $67.5 million (The Empire Strikes Back), and $45.4 million (Return of the Jedi). Disney had similar successes with its 3D conversions of The Lion King ($94.2 million), Beauty and the Beast ($47.6 million), Finding Nemo ($41.1 million), and Monsters, Inc. ($34 million). 3D re-issues of Titanic ($57.8 million), Jurassic Park ($45.3 million), and even The Phantom Menace ($43.4 million) did solid numbers.

These numbers are precisely in the wheelhouse of what Endgame is chasing since, as of Tuesday, it was $43.95 million behind Avatar’s global record. However, these films were events not just for their extras but because for a number of people they offered an opportunity to see these films for the first time on the big screen. The earliest re-release amongst all those films mentioned was Monsters, Inc., which came just 11 years after its first run. Avengers: Endgame would be 10 weeks – so it might not even technically be a “re-release.”

What does Endgame have going in its favor? Recent history for starters. Black Panther was 11 weeks and $681 million into its run when it jumped back into the top five, dropping just 4% from the week prior. A week before Endgame’s release, Captain Marvel rose 5.7% from the week prior, jumping from sixth to fourth and having the 17th best seventh weekend ever. Then, on Endgame’s record-breaking weekend, Captain Marvel was the number 2 film in the country on its eighth week of release, dropping just 8.7% for the 12th best eighth weekend ever. The Endgame re-issue release would come four days before the next chapter in the MCU, Spider-Man: Far From Home, opens. That film could see the same kind of post-Avengers bump that propelled Iron Man 3 to over $400 million.

Sony Pictures
(Photo by © Sony Pictures)

Will a pre-Spider-Man launch in the film’s 10th week of release be enough though? Black Panther made a little over $23 million from weekend 10 on. Captain Marvel made a little more than $10 million. We could just as easily say that Endgame is only $33.2 million away from the true record as that would discount Avatar getting a re-release as a “Special Edition” in 812 theaters on Aug. 27, 2010, just a few weeks before its first run finished with $749.7 million. Therein lies the potential rub though.

How much business does Endgame lose this weekend with Toy Story 4 seeking to break its own records – let alone with people now knowing if they wait just another week they could pay the same amount and see the new additions? Optimistically, another $4 to $5 million this weekend worldwide, and let’s double that with the reissue the week after; Endgame would still need another $20 to $25 million going forward. Marvel and Disney could certainly try another re-release around awards time, as there will certainly be some outside chatter for a legacy reward. But that is likely small peanuts, too. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk made just $1.69 million in its awards season re-release in December 2017.

Maybe Avengers: Endgame will need another decade to pass Avatar. When the dust is settled and a new generation of Marvel lovers are finishing up the latest phase of the MCU and discovering the tales of the original group that their parents loved and supported, perhaps an anniversary re-issue is announced and the final few bucks it needs for the record will be handed over for one last ticket. Unless Avatar 2, 3, 4, or 5 has already moved the record forward.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

E! social media 21st Century Fox dramedy foreign Spike sag awards Spectrum Originals WGN biography miniseries ITV Crackle children's TV Apple USA free movies Box Office Mudbound anthology YA historical drama composers breaking bad CBS Disney streaming service TCA Winter 2020 TCA YouTube 45 Tomatazos Syfy space Marvel Television Lifetime Black Mirror Crunchyroll Disney Podcast Fox News slashers Hallmark what to watch YouTube Premium Mindy Kaling 71st Emmy Awards Hallmark Christmas movies golden globes movies BBC America DGA Reality PaleyFest spy thriller dc GLAAD spanish language Ghostbusters vampires Captain marvel casting Countdown TLC technology NBC BET Baby Yoda docudrama Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Extras Cartoon Network Tubi crime drama Rom-Com Adult Swim Family Pride Month zombie El Rey anime Martial Arts First Reviews festivals IFC Country Fall TV singing competition Disney Plus Christmas witnail Song of Ice and Fire serial killer FOX christmas movies Masterpiece cults Comic Book Nominations Teen television diversity Certified Fresh HBO 2018 cooking DC Comics Sundance theme song Kids & Family Thanksgiving Universal doctor who Holidays GoT Comedy TCA 2017 DC streaming service DirecTV 2019 TCM Pet Sematary Freeform TIFF Mary Poppins Returns The Arrangement Paramount binge psychological thriller Emmy Nominations X-Men Shondaland Netflix Christmas movies Food Network Superheroe cinemax comics TBS New York Comic Con thriller Fantasy series Superheroes comic finale ABC Cannes VICE ESPN Rocketman name the review E3 dragons Tarantino cancelled television History indie teaser Premiere Dates Biopics Brie Larson blaxploitation Star Wars adventure Sony Pictures Interview TruTV 007 Lucasfilm cats Sneak Peek Classic Film Toys Nickelodeon The Witch Anna Paquin Paramount Network 20th Century Fox strong female leads sitcom stand-up comedy Women's History Month screenings DC Universe Super Bowl WarnerMedia mockumentary comiccon CNN Esquire Reality Competition supernatural Pixar Marathons 2020 Trailer BBC facebook Columbia Pictures Pop MCU canceled TV shows Musicals Lifetime Christmas movies Character Guide Election revenge mutant spider-man FX Photos sequel Walt Disney Pictures Marvel IFC Films south america The Walking Dead Rock game of thrones Marvel Studios See It Skip It spain Awards Tour Mary Tyler Moore RT History 2017 Turner cancelled joker Sundance Now NYCC Dark Horse Comics canceled PBS science fiction travel sports Oscars President Year in Review book Comedy Central Music screen actors guild A24 Writers Guild of America FXX jamie lee curtis Amazon Trivia Opinion Film crime unscripted independent Tumblr cars LGBT Disney+ Disney Plus Netflix AMC San Diego Comic-Con spinoff Endgame GIFs Horror versus medical drama dceu toy story video Shudder period drama TV renewals blockbuster Logo disaster Ovation Star Trek Mary poppins Nat Geo ratings Epix Animation Cosplay USA Network Showtime tv talk Discovery Channel political drama Polls and Games Winter TV Action boxoffice zero dark thirty Peacock award winner SXSW OWN batman directors APB aliens elevated horror CBS All Access renewed TV shows Stephen King Avengers MTV crossover Chilling Adventures of Sabrina war Hulu Best and Worst Drama Summer MSNBC Creative Arts Emmys streaming Elton John robots First Look Acorn TV VH1 Starz crime thriller Musical Ellie Kemper psycho cancelled TV series kids true crime LGBTQ justice league American Society of Cinematographers Video Games cartoon Sundance TV green book cops TV Land Amazon Prime Disney Channel Trophy Talk richard e. Grant reboot natural history based on movie TV YouTube Red quibi Red Carpet Calendar A&E nature Emmys transformers OneApp 2016 Apple TV Plus Valentine's Day CW Seed Grammys Heroines Spring TV Watching Series CMT werewolf Apple TV+ halloween Academy Awards RT21 movie Chernobyl ABC Family Turner Classic Movies romantic comedy hispanic Britbox game show Winners Warner Bros. 24 frames discovery Vudu harry potter Awards TNT Schedule animated latino Sci-Fi adaptation romance Infographic politics Holiday HBO Max talk show Bravo Binge Guide Film Festival zombies Rocky National Geographic The Purge Set visit ghosts Western Pirates hist documentary rotten movies we love cancelled TV shows Amazon Prime Video police drama SundanceTV Television Academy 2015 Comics on TV Quiz SDCC Arrowverse The CW Lionsgate Mystery