‘Avengers: Endgame’ vs. ‘Avatar’: Here’s Why These Movies Are Being Compared

There are so many different kinds of movies, and yet, in order to enjoy them, we often feel we need to compare them to one another. This isn’t always a bad thing: Film criticism, if done well, can be a great resource, educating audiences as to why they might choose to buy tickets for one flick over another based on their tastes. But this is the internet, and discourse doesn’t often stay positive for long.

Right now, two movies are going head to head in the public conversation (namely: Twitter). But why are Avatar and Avengers: Endgame being compared so much? Here’s what you need to know. (Don’t worry, no Endgame spoilers here!)

Avatar was released almost a decade ago

The sci-fi/fantasy action film Avatar was released nearly 10 years ago. The 20th Century Fox film came from director James Cameron, and was his first feature film following his fictional historical drama, Titanic, which broke box office records when it was released in 1997, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, and the first to break the $2 billion mark.

Avatar was very obviously very different from Titanic: Everything from the subject matter, to the tone, to the visuals. In fact, Avatar was generally touted for its look and style more than anything else, and went on to win Oscars for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects. But one way in which it was similar? Avatar unseated Titanic as the top earning flick, coming in with over 2.7 in worldwide gross.

No film has come close — until now

There have been plenty of record-breaking movies released since Avatar. In fact, aside from Titanic, every single other film in the top 25 highest grossing came out after it, except for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Many of the previous Marvel movies, like The Avengers, Iron Man 3, and Captain Marvel also made it into that top 25. But none came near Avatar’s record… until Endgame.

On May 5, 2019, as its second weekend at the box office came to a close, the reports we’d been waiting for came in. Endgame had edged out Titanic with sales of over $2.18 billion globally. Now, Endgame is poised to take the top slot away from Avatar before its first month in theaters is even over.

People have *feelings* about this

So now, onto the internet chat. There are a lot of opinions out there about Avatar vs. Endgame, beginning with the similarities. Both are huge, effects-driven, expensive movies, naturally. Both fall into the general sci-fi/fantasy realm, with action taking place both on Earth and elsewhere. And both, oddly enough, feature Zoe Saldana as a uniquely colored alien (someone knows how to pick ‘em.)

But there are so many more differences between them. They’re really not comparable films in the slightest. Still, many insist, and what has ensued is some pretty nasty communication. Marvel fans tear down Avatar for having a terrible, derivative plot and Avatar devotees hurl back insults about how over-hyped the MCU is.

When it comes to the makers of the movies, chiming in, Marvel, of course, will remain silent on all of this (Disney owns Fox now, and are profiting off Avatar with the Animal Kingdom Pandora attraction inspired by it). But Cameron himself has spoken up in the past about his dislike of the over-saturation in the superhero genre. As he heads into production on the first two of the planned four Avatar sequels, we hope he’ll learn to play nice with Marvel, if at least for the public’s sake.

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