James Cameron’s Avatar is back to being the highest grossing movie of all time, thanks to China. The iconic movie was displaced back in 2019 by Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, which narrowly beat Cameron’s worldwide box office record with a massive San Diego Comic-Con announcement. While Cameron congratulated Marvel Studios, along with the cast and crew of the movie, he also knew that Avatar would be rereleased at some point down the line, especially since he had started working on the long-awaited sequels.
It was announced earlier this week that Avatar was returning to Chinese theaters for IMAX and 3D screenings, so many people knew that it was going to regain its title. As of this writing, the 2009 movie was able to earn $8.9 million, bringing its global total to $2,798,579,794. As of 2019, there was only a $7.82 million gap between Avatar and Avengers: Endgame, which means that James Cameron is narrowly back on top with the highest grossing movie of all time. Endgame is currently sitting at $2,797,501,328, though it could also be rereleased into theaters at some point in the near future.
The rerelease of Avatar will continue to bring in more and more cash over the next several days, adding to its worldwide record. While movie theaters in North America are still largely shut down, China’s box office business is booming after a year of uncertainty. With that being said, North American theaters are slowly starting to reopen, with analysts predicting that everything could be back to some form of normalcy by this summer. President Joe Biden is confident that July 4th celebrations will be able to happen, thanks to a ramped up vaccine distribution process.
While there is no shortage of big 2020 movies waiting to open in movie theaters, Marvel Studios could also dust off Avengers: Endgame to invite fans back into movie theaters. If that happens, we could end up seeing a war for the highest grossing movie of all time break out between the MCU smash hit and Avatar. Marvel Studios already has its hands full with titles that were supposed to have opened in theaters last year, so it will be interesting to see how this all works out when all is said and done.
Avatar opened in Chinese theaters back in 2010, where it was a massive success. At the time, it grossed just over $200 million at the box office, which was before the Chinese market had fully expanded to where it is today. Box office analysts predict that the rerelease could end up bringing in just shy of $60 million, giving the 2009 movie a pretty big lead. Plus, with James Cameron preparing to release the sequels, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a North American rerelease either. Deadline was the first to report on Avatar taking back its highest grossing movie of all time title from Avengers: Endgame.