Is this what it’s going to be? Avatar and Avengers: Endgame swapping the all-time box office crown until the end of time? James Cameron’s sci-fi epic held the top spot with $2.79B for more than a decade, having established itself as a must-see event with visual effects that were absolutely mindblowing at the time, especially on IMAX and in 3D. Then Marvel’s blockbuster sequel came and took it all away with a $2.798B total. Now, Cameron is ready to take back the title with the help of Chinese cinemas.
THR reports Avatar will return to theaters in China this Friday, having been approved by the China Film Bureau. It will be available in 3D and IMAX 3D, and only needs to earn $7.5M to dethrone Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame. This has actually been in the works for a while. You may remember that as China sought to reopen in the early days of the pandemic, they began approval of many “catalog” films to lure audiences back into theaters, and Avatar was one of them.
I expect this won’t be the last re-release for Avatar, and I’m guessing it won’t be long until Marvel cooks up a reason to put Endgame back out there. Perhaps drop in some deleted scenes, or have a special tease for an upcoming film? Something. But this back-and-forth for box office supremacy ain’t over.