Director James Cameron’s Avatar overtook Avengers: Endgame‘ as the all time highest grossing movie after it was re-released in China.
Deadline reported on Saturday: Confirming what we reported in the wee hours of Saturday morning (see below), Disney has announced that James Cameron’s Avatar has once again become the highest-grossing film of all time at the global box office, overtaking Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. This is thanks to a China reissue which began on Friday and which through its first two days has added an estimated RMB 80M ($12.3M) to the total haul for the Na’vi.
Disney now puts Avatar’s worldwide gross at an estimated $2.802B versus Endgame’s $2.797B. Avatar, which now falls under the Disney umbrella after the Fox acquisition, first became the top-selling global release of all time in 2010 when it passed Cameron’s own 1997 Titanic. In July 2019, Endgame overtook Avatar — and now the latter is back on top.
Fandango’s managing editor Erik Davis wrote on Twitter: “#AvengersEndgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo pass the “Highest Grossing Movie” honors back to James Cameron’s #Avatar, featuring art from the great @Bosslogic. AVATAR is being re-released in China as we speak & only needed $7.4M to take the title back.”
#AvengersEndgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo pass the “Highest Grossing Movie” honors back to James Cameron’s #Avatar, featuring art from the great @Bosslogic. AVATAR is being re-released in China as we speak & only needed $7.4M to take the title back pic.twitter.com/c6rGOnegte
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) March 13, 2021
Cameron posted on Instagram: “Irayo to our fans in China for coming out to see Avatar on the big screen this weekend! This crown belongs to Na’vi Nation – it couldn’t have happened without you.”
Marvel Studios returned the sentiment writing: “Congratulations to James Cameron, Jon Landau, and ALL of Na’vi Nation for reclaiming the box office crown! We love you 3000.”
View this post on Instagram
Endgame’s directors, Anthony and Joseph Russo wrote on Insta: “Passing the gauntlet back to you… @jamescameronofficial”
View this post on Instagram
Speaking to China.org on Thursday, Cameron said the film is just as relevant today as it was when it released more than a decade ago. “We’ve got climate change, we’ve got deforestation, our relationship with nature is more at risk than it’s ever been, and Avatar is about those things, but it also is a timeless film. Some people criticize the stories for being too simple. It wasn’t that simple — it was universal. It was something that everybody everywhere could understand and emotionally related to.” It’s worth noting that Avatar has had a handful of re-releases since its original run, whereas Endgame made essentially all of its money in 2019.
Cameron has been working busily on the sequels. Disney has scheduled Avatar 2 for Dec. 16, 2022; part 3 for Dec. 20, 2024; part 4 for Dec. 18, 2026; and part five for Dec. 22, 2028.