It took 85 days to get there, and for a brief time it looked like it might just fall short, but a re-release and a push from the arrival of Spider-Man: Far From Home (which itself is currently on $970,759,412 worldwide after just 20 days on release) helped take Avengers: Endgame past the decade long reign of Avatar to become (in numbers) the highest grossing film of all time with a mighty $2,790,216,193, edging past Avatar‘s $2,789,700,000.
Avatar took 238 days or 34 weeks to make its money in an era a decade ago when major films could still be found in cinemas six months after their premier. Today, most movies are on home video or streaming services within 4 – 5 months. Indeed, Bob Iger stated that Endgame will be on Disney Plus by the end of this year.
It’s worth noting that Endgame was the culmination of a decade of hit movies, which started before the release of Avatar in 2009 with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in 2008, and Endgame‘s budget – $356 million – is over $100 million more than Avatar‘s $237 million.
On the North American domestic inflation adjusted list, Endgame is currently 16th with $854,216,193, just ahead of Return of the Jedi on $847,475,300 and behind Avatar on $876,759,300. Ahead in 12th lies The Empire Strikes Back on $884,607,500, The Force Awakens in 11th on $974,117,000 and in the all-time second spot with $1,604,857,600 is A New Hope. While 5 of the top 10 highest grossing films worldwide are Marvel films (the 4 Avengers epics along with Black Panther), 5 of the top 20 inflation adjusted films are Star Wars movies.
So, congratulations to Marvel and Avengers: Endgame and to ILM and Skywalker Sound who see one of their past films usurped by another. ILM now have their work in 9 of the top 10 films of all time (only Furious 7 didn’t feature any ILM VFX).
Now we wait for December and The Rise of Skywalker to see just how far the last ever Star Wars saga episode can rise.