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Avatar is the world’s top-earning movie of all time again following a strong rerelease performance at China’s box office last weekend. But as any diehard Marvel fan will tell you, the battle is far from over.
Someday, the Russo brothers’ Avengers: Endgame, the prior record holder, will probably have a shot at a rerelease too, potentially tipping the scales of box-office history back in its favor. For now, however, China is forecasted to considerably widen Avatar‘s lead.
Avatar received official clearance from China’s regulators for the rerelease just three days in advance, but the film still opened to a robust $21.1 million from Friday to Sunday, according to Disney’s estimates. On Monday, Avatar added $2.8 million. The solid start plus the perennial big-screen appeal of James Cameron’s VFX extravaganza — which has a deep and nostalgic fan connection in China — suggests to many analysts that it will mount a reasonably steady hold over the coming weeks.
Chinese ticketing giant Maoyan, for example, currently forecasts Avatar to finish its second run with $54.2 million (RMB 352.6 million). That would leave Avatar with a career total of $2.844 billion compared to $2.797 billion for Endgame — or a lead of $47 million, which is more than a smidgen.
Perhaps the more exciting phase of this epic struggle between box office champions, though, will be to see how Cameron’s Avatar 2, currently set for release on Dec. 22, 2022, stacks up against Avengers 5, whenever Kevin Feige gives that inevitable superhero epic shape. But for now, fans will have to settle for a rearguard skirmish in the record books.
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London Film Festival