There's little question that Avengers: Endgame is one of the most successful movies of all time. The Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Marvel Studios epic began breaking records even before it was released, crashing numerous presale outlets before setting the first-day presale record just six hours after tickets went on sale.
Avengers: Endgame followed that with the biggest global debut of all-time, generating more than $1.2 billion in worldwide ticket sales -- the first movie to ever achieve more than $1 billion in box office in a single weekend.
The film has gone on to break a host of other box office records, but one remains stubbornly out of reach: Avatar still holds the box office crown. Now Marvel has a plan to close the gap and potentially unseat the leader from its lofty perch.
So close, yet so far
After eight weeks in theaters, Avengers: Endgame had produced a gargantuan $2.744 billion in ticket sales as of June 18, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, but that still trails Avatar's take by about $44 million. It makes Endgame the No. 2-grossing movie of all time, when not adjusting for inflation. There's been plenty of ink spilled tackling the question of whether Earth's mightiest heroes have what it takes to finally topple the James Cameron epic, which still holds the box office record after nearly a decade.
As the saying goes, it isn't over till it's over. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and the architect of its interconnected universe of characters, has a plan to take the crown.
A rare second chance
In an interview with Screen Rant, Feige revealed that Avengers: Endgame will return to theaters next week with a couple of surprises for fans. The movie will be re-released on June 28 with additional material, including a scene that wasn't included in the original release, a tribute, and one of Marvel's signature post-credits sequences. Feige laid out the details:
Not an extended cut, but 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. Which will be next weekend.
The move makes strategic sense. Spider-Man: Far From Home is set to debut on July 2, and the trailers have established the obvious continuity between the two films. Peter Parker, the man behind the Spidey mask, is still reeling from the loss of his mentor, which forms the emotional linchpin for Far From Home. With the obvious tie-ins, fans may want to watch Endgame again before embarking on Spider-Man's latest adventure.
Does it really matter?
It's important to note that this is mostly about bragging rights. Avengers: Endgame has already wildly exceeded any expectations Disney had for the film, a fitting end to Marvel's 22-movie story arc.
Stan Lee, who was responsible for creating and developing many of Marvel's best-known superheroes, died in November and reportedly never got to see the last installment of the Avengers saga. If Endgame became the all-time box office champ, it would be a fitting tribute to the man whose legacy was to give us superheroes as flawed as ourselves.