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Disney's 'Avengers: Endgame' on pace to dethrone 'Avatar' with $3 billion at the box office

Key Points
  • "Avengers: Endgame" hauled in more than $1.2 billion globally in just five days in theaters.
  • Analysts forecast that "Endgame" has a chance of becoming the highest-grossing film of all time.
  • The current highest-grossing film is "Avatar" which earned $2.78 billion after being released in late 2009.
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'Avengers: Endgame' just shattered multiple box office records

"Avengers: Endgame" is on pace to do something no other film has ever been able to do — surpass $3 billion at the global box office.

The Disney and Marvel Studios film shattered box-office records over the weekend, becoming the first film to earn more than $1 billion during its debut. "Endgame" defied all expectations, taking in a record $356 million in the U.S., and more than $1.22 billion internationally in just five days in theaters, another record. Final weekend numbers were expected later Monday.

The feat is impressive in itself, but with tickets selling out for next weekend on online ticketing agencies and a high percentage of viewers saying they plan on seeing the film again, "Endgame" has a chance of becoming the highest-grossing film of all time.

Currently, that title is held by "Avatar," the 2009 fantasy and sci-fi epic directed by James Cameron and distributed by 20th Century Fox, which Disney acquired in March. During its run, "Avatar" earned $2.78 billion. "Endgame," in only five days, is nearly halfway to that benchmark.

"When considering that international box office proceeds generated 67% of 'Infinity War's' ultimate world-wide box office take, we believe Endgame could be positioned to generate $2.7 billion to $3.5 billion in ultimate world wide box office," Jessica Reif Ehrlich, research analyst at Bank of America, wrote in a research note Monday.

Traditionally, a film will see around a 50% decrease in revenue from its opening weekend to its second weekend. However, with so much buzz about "Endgame," some analysts foresee this decrease being smaller.

Regardless, even at a 50% drop off, that's still a haul of more than $600 million, more than most films make during their entire run. "Endgame" could hit $2 billion at record speed — it took current record holder "Avatar," which has several sequels in the works, 47 days to reach that mark a decade ago.

"Next weekend's sales decay is an important data point to judge whether the movie will reach this level of success," Mark Zgutowicz, analyst at Rosenblatt Securities, wrote in a research note Monday. "'Avengers: Infinity War' witnessed 56% decay domestically in the second weekend. While difficult to predict, this level of decay for Avengers: Endgame would imply $156M domestically next weekend, and lend more confidence in $2.9 billion global box office potential."

Not to mention, nearly 30% of people in North America who saw the film during its opening weekend said they would see "Endgame" again in theaters, according to Comscore's PostTrak survey. According to a survey of Fandango "Endgame" moviegoers, 81% said they would consider seeing the movie again.

"Many big-time blockbusters have multipliers of at least 3x, and if that's the case with 'Endgame,' this could easily top $3 billion," Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, said. "And since there aren't really any major tent poles in its way until the end of May, 'Endgame' should remain the #1 choice until Disney's 'Aladdin' and 'Godzilla' bring the firepower."

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