When we last left our heroes, the Avengers had successfully saved the Marvel Cinematic Universe, defeating Thanos and raking in $2.7 billion for Disney in the process. But all wasn’t yet right in the world. Despite its success, Avengers: Endgame still trailed Avatar for the all-time global box office record by $37 million.
Then, on June 28, Avengers: Endgame returned to theaters with two new end-credits scenes, one setting up the forthcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home and another featuring the Hulk. Despite skepticism from critics, Marvel’s gambit worked. Avengers: Endgame has wrested the title of “biggest movie of all time” from the blue, CGI hands of James Cameron’s aliens by a $500,000 margin. Sure, Endgame still lags behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the all-time American box-office record, but, thanks in large part to the rerelease’s Chinese financial gains, the latest Avengers installment now stands as the highest-grossing film on the planet Earth with a total of $2,790,216,193.
What do all of these films have in common, besides an undying commitment to computer-generated aliens? They’re no longer truly competitors now that they’re all owned by Disney, which is slated to continue its monopolistic dominance well into the future, with nearly a decade of theatrical releases and television series planned for Disney’s streaming service Disney+ already planned out.
Marvel revealed Phase Four of the MCU at this year’s Comic-Con, unveiling 10 new projects by 2021. Disney has already announced that three more Star Wars and Avatar sequels are being planned for a theatrical release schedule that extends through 2027, and that’s not even accounting for additional content released to streaming. Given that Disney owns a majority of properties atop the all-time box office charts, we can safely conclude that, while the Avengers may have won the day this time, the war for the top seat at the box office is far, far from over. But no matter which franchise wins or loses, Mickey Mouse’s tush will always be on the throne.