Watch out, ‘Avatar’! ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is closing in on worldwide box office crown

Avengers: Endgame” took in another $7.8 million in its sixth weekend of release, bringing it to a grand total of $815 million on these shores. That’s a massive number, make no mistake, but it also looks like the film will peter out long before it catches the domestic record-holder “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($936 million). However, “Endgame” is a lot closer to catching “Avatar” for the worldwide title. Does it still have enough steam to win internationally?

Counting both domestic and international receipts, “Endgame” is up to $2.713 billion in total gross as of this writing. That’s just $75 million shy of “Avatar,” which set the record a decade ago with $2.788 billion worldwide (not accounting for inflation). James Cameron‘s sci-fi epic was the first and only film ever to make more than $2 billion just from international markets, added to its $760 million in domestic box office. “Endgame” has already bested “Avatar” domestically but still falls short overseas, where it has so far made $1.897 billion of its overall haul.

“Endgame’s” box office performance now appears to have been heavily front-loaded. It crushed records when it made $1.2 billion in its first weekend alone and $350 million of that domestically, compared to $247 million for “Force Awakens” and $77 million for “Avatar.” Those previous films had longer legs, while “Endgame” has dropped more than 50% every successive weekend since its opening. Perhaps spoiler-phobic culture contributed to this phenomenon, where ardent fans afraid of finding out the ending sought it out immediately and less devoted moviegoers just stayed home. And maybe those early viewers have been sated by widespread discussion and dissection of the film online, limiting the social value of repeat viewings despite strong reviews and a grade-A CinemaScore.

Whatever the cause of the film’s relatively quick fade, I doubt Disney is complaining. Even if “Endgame” stays at number-two here and abroad, the Mouse House also owns the “Star Wars” franchise, and after its acquisition of 20th Century Fox it owns “Avatar” too. And if a movie from any other studio overtakes them all, Disney will probably buy them out too.

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