How Avengers: Endgame Became the Biggest Movie Ever
It's now official. Avengers: Endgame has passed Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time bringing in $2.79 billion in just 13 weeks. Avatar held the record for the past decade.
This was never quite a sure thing. While we all knew Endgame would shatter the $2 billion ceiling, the odds weren't in its favor to grab the record. Despite setting an opening weekend record, there's much more competition now than there was for Avatar, the first movie released in 3-D. Endgame soon had to compete with other blockbusters like Detective Pikachu, John Wick 3 and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
But as superheroes do, the Avengers defied the odds and with the help of a re-release and Spider-Man: Far From Home, soared past Avatar this weekend. Endgame's original theatrical release actually beat Avatar's, but Avatar had a more successful re-release.
Ten short years ago, who ever would have thought that the Avengers would be the biggest movie franchise in the history of film? The Avengers! It's just so insane, but so awesome that this is where we've come.
What's so impressive is how this all happened; the buildup of 22 movies, culminating in an epic event which we may never see again. It was a slow, methodical strategy with a few risks along the way. Iron Man, the one that started it all, was never guaranteed to spawn this connected universe. Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange were little known properties. Black Panther and Captain Marvel brought in diversity that's been rare in superhero movies. Time and time again, these movies surpassed expectations.
There's something to be said for creating a universe that connects different franchise. It creates a desire for the audience to want, to have to see each new installment. It's a creative, delightful con game of sorts, one that we're all too eager to be reeled in by. A Nick Fury cameo here, a Tony Stark appearance there. Name-droppings, references and Easter eggs subtly placed as a fun tease of what may come in the future. A reference to Dr. Strange or a vision of Wakanda on the map. A blink and you'll miss vision of Janet van Dyne's Wasp in the Quantum Realm. The fun of wondering where Stan Lee will pop up and who'll be this time. Take our money, please.
There was a time when superhero movies were career killers. Ask Chris O'Donnell, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner how their turns in these films worked out for them. But we've now reached a point where these movies are career makers. Anyone in these movies, even as supporting players, are instant household names.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige trusted his vision, and in turn audiences around the world trust him and his company to produce quality, entertaining movies to the point where they're willing to go to the theater three, four and five times to see each film. That trust is because Marvel has come to let filmmakers who are comic fans make these movies. Kevin Feige is a comic fanboy at heart. He's passionate about these characters and stories.
And there's no reason to see them slowing down anytime soon. Over the years, Disney has been reacquiring the rights to the characters originally sold off. This allows them to keep the franchise fresh by constantly introducing new characters to the audience.
Stan Lee and the other creators from Marvel Comics are the ones to thank for this. Creating so many interesting characters to fit in iconic storylines for decades have provided limitless potential and literally no timeline for when these stories have to end. There's no expiration date on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Brian Flinchbaugh