'Avengers: Endgame' might not beat 'Avatar's box office record after all

Ben Arnold
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Avengers: Endgame (Credit: Disney/Marvel)

Though it was insanely quick out of the gate – making the first ever billion dollars in an opening weekend – Avengers: Endgame might have stalled.

It was thought that it would have powered past Avatar's $2.78 billion (£2.19 billion) haul by now, but the pace of the blockbuster has now slowed.

Endgame has pulled in $2.62 billion (£2.06 billion), but industry experts reckon that it might not end up beating the worldwide gross of James Cameron's sci-fi fantasy, which topped the list of highest-grossing movies back in 2009, and has remained on top ever since.

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Where Avatar slowly climbed to its dominating box office position over many months – not reaching its $2.78 billion until March 2011 – Endgame opened in all key territories at once and may have made all the money it's going to make already.

“It’s slowed down more than we all expected,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice Media, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“If it performs like it has been up to this point, there is about a $10 million to $20 million margin that falls half north and half south of Avatar. But it would be surprising if Disney didn’t get it there somehow.”

Avatar (Credit: Fox)

There are also a few other not inconsiderable factors at play when comparing the two movies' box office hauls.

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The Chinese market has played a massive role in Endgame's success, bringing in $608 million, where Avatar made $204 million there, when the territory was markedly less lucrative.

Then there's the small matter of inflation, which frankly leaves Endgame in Avatar's dust.

When we factor in inflation, Avatar would have made $3.27 billion in today's money, not to mention the fact that ticket prices in 2009 were notably cheaper too.

When inflation is considered, Endgame comes in at number five in the list of highest-ever box office grosses, behind 1977's Star Wars ($3.06 billion), Titanic ($3.09 billion), Avatar at $3.27 billion and the all-time winner, Gone With The Wind, which made the equivalent of $3.7 billion in 1939.