Marvel's Avengers: Endgame has so far grossed approximately $2.743 billion at the worldwide box office, putting it just shy of James Cameron's Avatar, which earned almost $2.788 billion in 2009/2010. Although it appeared the Marvel Studios film was slowing down too much to dethrone Avatar, Endgame will receive a re-release on June 28 featuring additional content not seen the first time around.
This might just be the push fans need to get back in theaters and put the fourth Avengers film firmly past Avatar.
A Trick Out of James Cameron's Playbook
Marvel Studios isn't the first company to re-release a film with additional content in theaters. Cameron did the same thing himself with Avatar and Titanic. His extended cut of Avatar lengthened its theatrical run, while he re-released the special edition of Titanic in 2012.
Cameron's films were box office smashes because of their gargantuan theatrical runs. Titanic was in theaters for an astonishing eight months. Although the films were already successful, the extended theatrical runs helped push their totals up even higher. As it did with Cameron's movies, this extended theatrical run will push Endgame farther at the box office than it might have otherwise gone.
What Can Fans Expect?
Although Avatar had 45 minutes of cut footage on its DVD release, its extended release was only 16 minutes longer. On the other hand, Titanic's special edition is less than 10 minutes longer (though many scenes were digitally altered). The extended cut of Endgame will be adding even less.
According to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Endgame will return to theaters with a deleted scene at the end of the film, subbing in for the post-credits scene the movie didn't have. There's also "a little tribute, and a few surprises," though what those are wasn't specified. It doesn't sound like anything else about the movie itself outside of what happens when the credits role will change.
Will It Be Enough to Beat Cameron?
The big question is: Will these few extras be enough to get people interested in watching the same movie again?
Of course they will. The Avengers brand is the biggest in pop culture right now. Even if 1/20th of the people who showed up opening weekend to see Endgame show up to see the new extras, that's over 50 million dollars, which is enough to push Endgame past Avatar.
Furthermore, this extended re-release will hit theaters around the same time as Spider-Man: Far From Home. When Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War arrived in cinemas, Marvel films whose theatrical runs overlapped with them (Captain Marvel and Black Panther) saw either a boost in box office or a dramatic slowing in weekend-to-weekend drop, as people wanted to rewatch the prior film before watching the new one. There's no indication the same thing won't happen this time around.
This new release makes it extremely likely Endgame will blow Avatar away. Given this extra boost, Endgame will very likely become the top grossing film of all time -- and the movie future generations of filmmakers will aim to beat.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is in theaters now.