And so... the crown passes... back? For a long time, Avatar was king of the (Western, at least) box office crown. Then along came a little movie called Avengers: Endgame and it took it from James Cameron and co. But, never one to be counted out, Cameron oversaw a re-release of Avatar in China, which has seen the film regain the top spot.
Team Marvel, gracious in defeat, took to Twitter to congratulate Cameron and the entire Ava-family for their fresh victory.
Now, of course, we wait and see whether the Avengers return to cinemas looking to snap things back to their favour, which could be... say it with us... inevitable.
Naturally, the biggest winners here are Disney, which owns both Marvel and 20th Century Studios, the former Fox home of Avatar. And, of course, Zoe Saldana, who appears in both movies. We're also waiting to see how Avatar 2 performs when arrives in December 2022.
James Gunn Has The Best Response To Avatar Retaking The Box Office Title From Avengers: Endgame
Becoming the highest-grossing film of all time is a major accomplishment, and it’s something that Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame was able to achieve back in 2019. The film famously dethroned James Cameron’s Avatar for the title, and Cameron was more than gracious in responding to the accomplishment. Well, now Cameron’s sci-fi epic has reclaimed the box office throne after being re-released in China this weekend. Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have already shared a cool response to the development and, now, Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn has chimed in with a great response.
Some may not know it, but James Gunn also served as an executive producer on both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. He took pride in the fact that he had a hand in making the highest-grossing film of all time though, after learning of Avatar’s return to the top, he offered a kind post aimed at director James Cameron and his Guardians of the Galaxy collaborator, Zoe Saldana.
James Gunn couldn’t have chosen a better way to mark Avatar’s return to the top of the box office list. The moment, of course, has to be particularly special given his close working relationship with Zoe Saldana. In addition to his warm words, he also offered some keen thoughts on film re-releases.
The director brings up a good point about re-releasing movies. Many studios have a tendency to give recent films additional theatrical runs, like Avatar or any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. However, it’s always special when beloved classics like Alien, Back to the Future, or E.T. get to hit the big screen again, as it allows younger viewers (who likely only see them through TV airings) to experience those films in a theater for the first time.
James Gunn definitely understands the power of the theater-going experience. Both Avengers: Endgame and Avatar have arguably been some of the greatest cinematic experiences we’ve seen in recent decades, hence the re-releases.
The box office tit for tat between the Avengers and Avatar franchises has been interesting to watch, and one has to wonder how it might continue. Could Marvel Studios choose to put Endgame back in theaters at some point, and could Avatar be re-released in the states ahead of the upcoming sequel? There’s certainly a good chance that either could happen, especially since Disney clearly sees the value in both of their tentpole properties.
However this back and forth continues to shake out, it would be fair to assume that the filmmakers associated with the films, like James Gunn and James Cameron, will receive any new milestone with class and respect.