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James Cameron’s 2009 epic blockbuster Avatar has passed up Marvel’s 2019 superhero extravaganza Avengers: Endgame to once again rule as the top-grossing film of all time at the global box office, not adjusted for inflation.
Avatar‘s surprise victory is a result of the movie’s re-release in China this weekend, where it earned more than $8 million through Saturday afternoon alone, according to Disney. That puts Avatar‘s total box office at $2.8 billion, versus $2.797 billion for Endgame, which was released in 2019.
Commenting on the achievement, Avatar producer Jon Landau, said: “We are proud to reach this great milestone, but Jim and I are most thrilled that the film is back in theaters during these unprecedented times, and we want to thank our Chinese fans for their support. We are hard at work on the next Avatar films and look forward to sharing the continuation of this epic story for years to come.”
In a tweet late Saturday morning, Marvel Studios acknowledged the achievement. “Congratulations to @JimCameron ,@JonLandau , and ALL of Na’vi Nation for reclaiming the box office crown!” wrote the studio in a tweet. “We love you 3000. @OfficialAvatar.”
The official Avatar account tweeted a photo of a group of fans, all wearing face masks, along with a message. “Irayo to our fans in China for coming out to see Avatar on the big screen this weekend! This crown belongs to Na’vi Nation – it couldn’t have happened without you. @jonlandau @JimCameron.”
The good news for Disney, which owns Marvel Studios — it also is now home to Avatar as a result of the merger with 20th Century Fox.
Cameron’s movie was among a short list of historically popular blockbuster titles China’s Film Bureau requested for rerelease in March, when China’s cinemas were attempting a staged reopening as the country began to get a handle on local spread of the novel coronavirus.
11:08 a.m.: Updated with tweet from Marvel, Avatar and Russo Brothers.
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