Marvel refuses to let Avengers: Endgame die. Barely out of theaters, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed that Endgame will be returning to cinemas. And soon! During a press junket for Marvel’s other upcoming blockbuster, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Fiege confirmed to ComicBook.com that an extended cut of Endgame was imminent.
We are doing that, I don’t know if it’s been announced. And I don’t know how much … Yeah, we’re doing it next weekend.
Feige’s nonchalance over the rerelease of a $2,743,413,993 grossing (to date) movie just three months after its initial release is staggering. But the rerelease may be Endgame’s last-ditch effort to beat out its greatest box office rival: 2009’s James Cameron–directed 3D colonial parable Avatar, which still holds the all-time box office record of $2,787,965,087—a full $44.6 million more than Endgame (the movie’s box office defeat to Cameron’s blue alien epic still haunts Endgame co-director Anthony Russo). Now, would a company as cash-rich as Walt Disney’s Marvel stoop so low as to rerelease a film for the sake of petty box office score keeping?
It’s pulled similar stunts before. Marvel went to lengths to prolong the run of Black Panther in order to get it over the $700 million domestic mark, just enough to edge into the over-$700 million-club along with Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens and make it “the biggest solo superhero movie of all time even adjusted for inflation.” A fun wrinkle in this age of megaconglomeration: All of the properties involved are now owned by Disney—the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Star Wars saga, even Avatar, which became Disney’s when it absorbed 20th Century Fox. With Endgame, Marvel is rereleasing its movie into a Disney-heavy box office, competing with the likes of Toy Story 4 and potentially Spider-Man: Far From Home, part of the MCU although technically owned by Sony.
Instead of gunning for the achievements of other Disney-related franchises, it is more likely that the megaconglomerate is just flexing its dominance over the media ecosystem and the unwashed masses, we who might be foolish enough to be lured back into dank, sticky-floored theaters to devote an additional 3-plus hours to Marvel under the naïve hope that Black Widow might somehow still be alive after the end credits. But unless Tony Stark shows up to fix the time machine, Avengers: Endgame’s box office legacy will likely remain in the humiliating shadow of its Na’vi overlords.