How 'Avatar' paved the way for the huge box office success of 'Avengers: Endgame' in China



  • “Avengers: Endgame” is currently the second biggest box office earner of all time worldwide.
  • Some online are trolling director James Cameron as “Endgame” knocked “Titanic” from number two on the list and is poised to take down “Avatar” as number one.
  • But the box office performance of “Avatar,” specifically in China, helped pave the way for “Endgame” to break box office records as fast as it has, nearing the record held by “Avatar.”
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The incredible global box office success for Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” has gotten to the point where it’s taking down the biggest grossers of all time.

On Sunday, the movie became the second-highest grossing movie of all-time worldwide with over $2.1 billion, passing “Titanic.” Next up for the Marvel movie is taking the throne from “Avatar,” which is tops with $2.7 billion (not counting inflation).

Sandwiched between two James Cameron movies has got the MCU fans feeling a little bold as they went online over the weekend and began to troll the Oscar-winning director about the record-breaking success of “Endgame” and its all-but inevitable toppling of “Avatar,” which has reigned the worldwide box office since 2009.

Read more: Director of dark indies, lover of American accents, and fan of psychology essays: Karen Gillan is much more than Nebula from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Cameron is too busy making multiple “Avatar” movies (or counting his money) to really care, but it does bring up a good time to give a little history lesson to these fans: If it weren’t for “Avatar,” the success of “Endgame” would not be possible. Specifically what Cameron’s movie did in China.

Back in 2009 and the beginning of 2010, when the Middle Kingdom was still becoming the huge international movie market it is now, “Avatar” came on the scene and revolutionized moviegoing in the region.

avengers endgame

“Avatar” took over $204 million in China in 2010, not just helping the box office there to spike 64% from the year before, but proving to Hollywood that the region was a cash cow. And at the same time “Avatar” was amazing audiences, movie theaters and IMAX screens were being built at an incredible rate in China — with over 300 theaters and IMAX screens added in 2010 alone. All that propelled China to the second-largest movie market in the world, just behind the US.

So without “Avatar” paving the way, you could argue that some Hollywood blockbusters wouldn’t have cashed in as much as they have. From Tom Cruise and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movies, to MCU, all these pillars of the studio system have benefited from the box office in China.

And “Endgame” getting to number two all-time in only 11 days would not have been possible without the Middle Kingdom. 

The movie has made over $500 million in China, the first Hollywood movie to ever earn a half-billion dollars in the country, and in that time “Endgame” has:

  • Broken the record for most presales ($92 million). 
  • Had the best single-week performance ever ($386 million).
  • And became the highest-grossing foreign film in China, passing “The Fate of the Furious” ($392.8 million).

“Endgame” will pass “Avatar” at the worldwide box office in the near future, but you have to tip your cap to James Cameron for making it possible.

SEE ALSO: “Avengers: Endgame” directors describe the 100-hour workweeks and tremendous pressure of making their $2 billion blockbuster

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