The Sneaky Way ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Is Trying to Be the Highest Grossing Movie of All Time

Before Avengers: Endgame came out, many box-office watchers said, “Oh, there’s no way it will catch Avatar. It’ll be huge, sure, but not that huge.”

Then Avengers: Endgame came out, making a stunning $357 million in the first weekend alone. Then people said, “Never mind, it’s definitely going to catch Avatar now!” ¬†However, so many people saw the movie that first weekend — some of them repeatedly — that Endgame tailed off fast.

Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, and Scarlett Johansson | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

As it stands, Avatar’s worldwide box office total is $2.78 billion. Endgame is right behind that, with $2.74 billion. So Endgame needs to make $44 million and change to close the gap. Now, Marvel has announced it will release a new edition into theaters next weekend with extra footage. So this is just a cash-grab to break Avatar’s record, right? Maybe, maybe not.

What’s in this new ‘Avengers: Endgame’ edition?

To clarify, this new version is not truly an extended cut, with unseen footage added into the movie itself. That’s probably just as well since the three-hour length of the existing movie resulted in a lot of hand-wringing about when to go to the bathroom. Instead, it will have some additional footage at the closing credits. Marvel creative chief Kevin Feige explained it to Screen Rant this way:

Not an extended cut, but there will be a version going into theaters with a bit of a marketing push with a few new things at the end of the movie. If you stay and watch the movie, after the credits, there’ll be a deleted scene, a little tribute, and a few surprises. Which will be next weekend.

So this will be giving fans the closing credit bonus that Endgame did not originally have. Fans have come to expect two credits sequences: One just after the main movie, and one at the very end, which is usually a little shorter and sillier. The shawarma scene from The Avengers is an example of this. 

Endgame did not have any credit bonuses at all, except for handwritten signatures from the original Avengers. The new version will rectify this. So one could argue this is Marvel giving fans what they want.

How ‘Endgame’s’ box office dropped fast

That Avengers: Endgame was going to be a massive hit was a foregone conclusion. Infinity War had made $2.04 billion worldwide after opening with $257 million in this country. So once Endgame blew past the initial expectations, it was not unreasonable to expect it would eventually claim the crown. Avatar director James Cameron even tweeted Feige and Marvel a note of congratulations when the film passed his previous record-holder, Titanic.

Then Marvel turned out to be a victim of its own success. So many people wanted to see the movie right away, that most everybody went that first weekend, and some people went multiple times. Therefore, Endgame didn’t develop legs and have staying power. With as much money as they have in the bank, it’s not a financial failure by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s also worth noting that since Disney now owns 20th Century Fox’s movies, they own Avatar too. So whether Avatar or Endgame ultimately gets the top spot, Disney is the victor. But if Avatar keeps the tops spot, Marvel and Kevin Feige don’t get the glory.

At least Spidey will get a boost

Even with this new Endgame version, making $45 million worldwide seems like a tall order. The movie has already slowed down so much that a few minutes of credit footage may not be enough incentive for people to revisit it.

The endgame here, if you will, ¬†may not be so much to help the Avengers but Spider-Man: Far From Home, which comes out July 2, a few days after the “new” Endgame comes out June 28. Forbes box office analyst Scott Mendelson said:

I still maintain that a mere “expanding wide again while still in semi-wide release” reissue isn’t enough to push over the milestone, and that the push was more about helping Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home (which allegedly acts as an epilogue to the MCU’s “Infinity Saga”).