UPDATED 7/23, 11:15 a.m. ET: Following the news that Avengers: Endgame has eclipsed James Cameron's Avatar as the highest-grossing movie of all-time, the official Avatar Twitter sent out congratulations from the director. "I see you Marvel. Congratulations to Avengers: Endgame on becoming the new box-office king," Cameron said.
In response, Infinity War and Endgame co-helmers Joe and Anthony Russo shared a tribute of their own to Cameron. "You're a monmental reason why we fell in love with film in the first place," the pair wrote on Instagram. "Thank you for always inspiring us and opening the world's eyes to what's possible. We can't wait to see where you take us next."
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As of Saturday, the final Avengers film had raked in $2.7892 billion at the global box office, about $500,000 shy of Avatar's $2.7897 billion total. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced the big news during San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, confirming Endgame would close the $500,000 gap by Sunday.
"Thanks to you, Avengers: Endgame is the biggest film of all-time," he said during the Marvel Hall H panel.
Since Endgame's release back in April, the Marvel-Disney film has broken a number of notable records, including the fastest film to hit $100 million at the box office, the highest-grossing opening day in history, and the first film to earn $1 billion in an opening weekend. But there was one major title the studios were set on taking: The biggest movie of all time.
Avatar director Cameron pulled a classy move in early May, congratulating the Marvel team for Endgame's early success.
Endgame received a solid boost earlier this season, when it was re-released in theaters with extra footage; however, Feige clarified that the updated version was not an "extended cut." He went on to say "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."
Clearly, the re-release worked.
"A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights," Alan Horn, Disney co-chairman and CCO, said in a statement to Variety. "Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron’s Avatar remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies to move people and bring them together in a shared experience. The talented filmmakers behind these worlds have much more in store, and we look forward to the future of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Pandora."
Avatar has three sequels on deck, the first of which is expected to arrive on Dec.17 2021, followed by Dec. 22, 2023 and Dec. 19, 2025 releases. So there's still a chance—well, three chances—for the franchise to recapture the crown.