Last year, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War set the global box office alight with its astonishing $2bn run. Now, with the decade’s biggest film series coming to an end, the success of Avengers: Endgame will undoubtedly be enormous. But how much will it make? Will it dethrone Avatar as the highest-grossing film of all time? Here are my Avengers: Endgame box office predicions.
Can Endgame match Infinity War’s $2bn worldwide gross?
Yes. It really can. And that is an incredible feat given it is the fourth film in the Avengers series, and the 22nd in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Having somehow staved off the ever-present possibility of so-called ‘superhero fatigue’, Marvel have taken this franchise from strength to strength, to the point that their 22nd film could break every record in the book.
With the first Avengers having taken $1.5bn worldwide, Age Of Ultron $1.4bn (impressive considering its lukewarm reception), the franchise really kicked up a notch with Infinity War in 2018, with a $2bn worldwide gross that landed it easily as the highest grosser of the year, and the fourth highest-grossing film of all time.
Couple that with the increasingly unstoppable trend of the wider MCU (take Black Panther‘s stunning $1.3bn run in February/March 2018, or even Captain Marvel‘s electric $456m opening weekend just last week), and you have all the figures pointing towards Endgame being the box office smash of the decade.
So, the film that looks set to bring the last eleven years’ most popular franchise to a close is also the one that should definitely prove Marvel’s biggest box office winner of all.
But what about superhero fatigue?
Ah, yes, the one thing that was supposed to bring down the almight reign of Marvel at the box office by the middle of the decade just hasn’t happened as expected. I, too, have been a regular subscriber to the possibility of ‘superhero fatigue’, but general audiences are just getting more and more hooked on the genre as the years go by.
My own experience of the MCU is a perfect indicator of the franchise’s stunning durability and popularity. Having never seen any of the films prior to 2015, I began to enjoy the Marvel movies as a bit of lightweight fun, but in the past year (particularly since the stunningly bold ending to Infinity War), I’ve now become genuinely invested in the story as much as I am with my beloved Star Wars, and am thoroughly looking forward to Endgame on opening weekend.
And the comparison to Star Wars is a fascinating one, because while the MCU continues to go from strength to strength, Disney’s relaunched Star Wars franchise is getting battered from all directions. While Marvel are now up to releasing three films a year, Star Wars fans are complaining of over-saturation and Star Wars fatigue with just one release per year, demonstrated by the drop in revenue from The Force Awakens to The Last Jedi, and then the total box office failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The fact that Disney’s Star Wars is only four films in and at near-crisis levels really highlights the achievement of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. It has staved off superhero fatigue by finessing its formula, while keeping things fresh with innovative filmmakers and new storylines. And that is why Endgame, even after 11 years of constant Marvel movies, looks set to be such a massive success.
So, how much money will it make?
Well, it will definitely make over $1bn. What used to be the gold standard for box office success is now a pipsqueak for films as massive as Endgame. The big question on everyone’s minds, however, is can it break $2bn like Infinity War? And then, can it go even further? Could it even beat Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time at $2.8bn?
This is where things get really interesting, because so many factors come into play with a film as big as this. Above all is critical and audience response. We know that fans will turn up on opening weekend to see the film no matter how good or bad it is, so those figures will easily break records.
However, if the film isn’t up to scratch, and doesn’t bring the Avengers series to a satisfying finish, its word of mouth will suffer, and the long term box office run will really hurt as a result, which is exactly where it could potentially fail to hit $2bn.
With that said, Marvel know exactly what they’re doing, and with fan favourite directors Anthony and Joe Russo on board, I think there’s very little chance Endgame will be a critical flop.
Secondly, there’s the release date. Mirroring last year with Infinity War, most major markets will get to see Endgame on the last weekend of April, so there’s no denying that the release schedule is one that fits well with audiences.
But it’s the later openings in those smaller markets that could have an impact, with Argentina, Lebanon, Serbia and potentially more set to receive the film at least a week after first release. A poor word of mouth would really hit those secondary markets, and could significantly slow its run towards any record-breaking box office numbers.
And then, of course, we come to the biggest secondary market of all.
To underestimate China’s role in the potential success of Endgame would be a huge mistake. While their domestic box office and film industry is now hitting a level that rivals North America, there’s no denying that Chinese audiences still have a huge appetite for Western blockbusters.
But how well does Marvel and The Avengers play in China? After all, the relative failure of the Star Wars movies in the country means that what’s liked in the West isn’t necessarily a favourite in the Middle Kingdom. Meanwhile, it’s the Fast And Furious franchise that’s proved the biggest hit in China, with both Furious 7 and The Fate Of The Furious outperforming all Marvel movies to date at the Chinese box office.
Last year, Infinity War hit cinemas in China two weeks after the worldwide release, but with strong critical reception and a clear fascination for superheroes in the country, it still managed to take in ¥2.3bn (about $355m), and topped the box office for two straight weeks, enough for the film to become the then-9th highest-grossing film of all time in China.
Compared to the astronomical figures Endgame will hit in North America (potentially as high as a record-breaking $1bn), it doesn’t seem like much, but for the film to beat Infinity War and then push on to break every box office record in the book, it will be hugely necessary.
The continued success of superhero movies in China will certainly see the film make big money there, although likely not with the same rate of growth from last year as will be seen in the West. Expect a total from China of around $400m, with that number potentially changing with a different release date and competition from domestic films.
Final Worldwide Box Office Prediction
Taking all of the fascinating trends, build-up and anticipation into account, Avengers: Endgame will be a titanic box office hit, and will easily finish as the highest-grossing film of 2019.
How much money will Endgame make worldwide? My prediction is a final worldwide gross of $2.4bn, after an opening weekend of $800m.
That figure would see Avengers: Endgame become the second highest-grossing film in all of history, jumping Infinity War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and even legendary veteran of the box office, Titanic.
But it would still sit $300m short of Avatar, a film that still seems out of reach despite increasing ticket prices and inflation – it’s just that Marvel can’t quite capture that sense of unparalleled, groundbreaking filmmaking that hit audiences so powerfully when Avatar was released in 2009.
Whatever happens, it will be fascinating to see how things play out for Endgame at the box office, and whether or not the Avengers really can fight back and defeat Thanos after the astonishing cliffhanger one year ago.