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Avengers: Endgame was released in Asia and Europe on Wednesday, April 24th, hit theaters in the UK the next day, and went worldwide on Friday, April 26th.
The plot remains shrouded in mystery, and the internet is teeming with fan theories about how the finale to arguably the greatest superhero franchise will conclude. From alternate universes to a seventh Infinity Stone, there are a number of ways the Avengers team could wind up defeating Thanos, if they do so at all.
But there’s one thing that everyone seems to agree on. Endgame is going to smash box-office records. Weeks before its official release date, oddsmakers projected that the movie would break almost every box-office record in existence.
The over/under on the opening weekend box-office in North America was set at $270 million, and it was favored to go over that number.
However, if it is going to be the biggest world-wide box-office success of all time, it will have to exceed even the oddsmakers’ lofty projections.
The over/under on Endgame’s world-wide box-office total is $2.05 billion. Again, oddsmakers gave it a better chance of going over that number than staying under it (about 60% to 40%), but it will have to exceed that projection by a pretty significant margin to claim the #1 spot in the annals of movie history.
The biggest box-office success of all time is still 2009’s Avatar, which earned a titanic $2.79 billion. It’s followed, coincidentally, by 1997’s Titanic, which made $2.1 billion.
To put that in perspective, Endgame will need to earn about $700 million more than its original projection in order to surpass Avatar; $700 million is almost enough to put a movie in the top-100 highest-grossing movies of all time.
Does it have a chance? Potentially.
The last Avengers installment, Infinity War (2018), sits fourth on the all-time earnings list at $2.05 billion. It earned about $600 million more than its own predecessor, Age of Ultron (2015). If Endgame sees the same growth compared to Infinity War as Infinity War did compared to Age of Ultron, it will be neck and neck with Avatar.
Adding to the hope for Endgame to reach unprecedented heights is the fact that critics are responding extremely positively to the film. It currently has a score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and 77% on Metacritic. As Black Panther showed last year, a strong critical reception can have an outsized effect on a movie’s box-office totals, even when it’s a superhero movie that fans assume will be more focused on effects than storytelling.