Avengers: Endgame Is The Top-Grossing Movie Of All Time - With One Caveat

You kind of need to squint.


After looking as if it would fall short despite a second push at the box office, Avengers: Endgame has officially broken the record to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. Marvel Studios announced that it had broken the record at its panel at Comic-Con, telling fans the movie has topped the $2.78 billion mark worldwide. But that record hinges on taking the numbers at their face value; analyzed a different way, and Endgame's record is a little less secure.

Endgame was a box office powerhouse when it released back in April, dragging in a near record-breaking amount of money--but despite its monster opening, the movie wasn't quite able to take the box office earnings record from another enormous movie: director James Cameron's Avatar. According to Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, that situation as changed, however, with Disney announcing at San Diego Comic-Con that Endgame has overtaken Avatar's box office record. "I literally just heard from our folks at Disney Distribution that Avengers: Endgame will be the biggest film of all time," Feige said during the Marvel Studios panel in Comic-Con's Hall H.

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As noted above, there is a catch, though.

"You have to shout out to [Avatar director] James Cameron--if you adjust for inflation he still holds that title, but right now, thanks to you folks in Hall H, Avengers: Endgame is the biggest film of all time," Feige said.

That means that in straight numbers, Endgame has surpassed Avatar's total box office take of $2.78 billion. But as Feige mentioned, the world was different in 2009, when Avatar was released, and inflation means that $2.78 billion was worth more then than it is now.

You might also recall that Disney and Marvel Studios worked pretty hard to get that record out of Cameron's hands. The company returned Endgame to theaters on June 28 with a small amount of extra footage added on the end, so it could soak up even more money. Before its "farewell" tour, Endgame had only raked in $2.74 billion. Still, a record is a record, and Disney fought to take this one. That said, the movie it topped is now--by virtue of the 21st Century Fox acquisition--under the same Disney umbrella as Marvel.

For more on what we learned on Saturday night, check out our wrap-up of everything we learned during Marvel Studios' Comic-Con panel.

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