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Avengers: Endgame passes Avatar as highest-grossing movie of all time

Marvel boss Kevin Feige makes the big announcement at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

Cool guys (and gals) don't look at explosions, or all the money they've made.
Marvel Studios/Getty Images composite by CNET

It finally happened: Avengers: Endgame has dethroned Avatar as the moneyest movie of all time.  

Marvel chief Kevin Feige and team announced the milestone at San Diego Comic-Con late Saturday afternoon. During a Marvel panel, Feige also announced movie release dates for MCU's Phase 4

"To the greatest fans in the universe, from the bottom of our hearts ... thank you," the Russo brothers, who directed the film, tweeted Saturday evening.  

Avatar, released in December 2009, held the international box office record for almost a decade with $2,787,965,087 since 2010, having earned the top spot by passing Titanic's previous record of $1.9 billion after just 41 days in theaters. It took Avengers: Endgame a little over three months to beat Avatar's record. 

As of Friday, Avengers: Endgame's global gross was $2,789.2 million, just $500,000 behind Avatar's lifetime global take of $2,789.7 million. Endgame's new weekend estimate is $2,790.2 million. A $3 billion box office haul, which no other film has ever achieved, may not be out of the question as the culmination of the MCU continues to draw in crowds.

"Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron's Avatar remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies to move people and bring them together in a shared experience," Alan Horn, co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios, said in a statement. 

Here are just a few of the other records Avengers: Endgame can boast about (including some of the 144 The Wrap says the movie set during its opening weekend):

  • Biggest opening day (North America domestic): $157,461,641
  • Biggest opening weekend (domestic): $357,115,007
  • Biggest international opening weekend ever: $1,223,641,414
  • Most profitable Hollywood film in China ever: $629.1 million (so far)
  • No. 2 film ever domestically: $824,436,903 (so far)
  • Fastest to $1 billion: 5 days to reach (Infinity War took 11 days to reach this milestone)
  • Fastest to $2 billion: 11 days (it took Avatar 47 days to reach this; Infinity War took 48)
  • No. 1 MCU film in North America, surpassing Black Panther ($700 million) in under a month

In case you've been living under a rock, Avengers: Endgame stars almost every major actor named Chris, plus a few others, and is still in theaters so you can help it reach $3 billion if you haven't already.

Originally published July 20. 
Correction, July 21, 8:55 a.m. PT
: An earlier version of this story misstated the year Avatar was released. It was 2009. 
Update, 9:06 a.m. PT: Adds new weekend estimate.