Avengers: Endgame breaks Avatar’s 10-year record to become highest-grossing film ever

After 10 years at the top, Avatar has been overtaken by Avengers: Endgame as the highest-grossing film ever.

The Marvel superhero blockbuster, released in April, hit an estimated $2.79bn (£2.3bn) at the global box office on Sunday, surpassing the $2.789bn taken by James Cameron’s Avatar.

In the UK, however, the film is yet to reach the top spot, which is held by 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with £123.2m. Bond films Skyfall and Spectre take second and third place respectively, followed by Avatar and then Endgame.

The Force Awakens also holds the US top spot, with Endgame second, meaning its global title comes down to strong sales around the world.

It also comes with the caveat that Avatar’s gross earnings have not been adjusted for inflation.

Alan Horn, co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios, paid tribute to Avatar director James Cameron as he hailed the achievement.

“A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights,” he said.

“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.

“The talented filmmakers behind these worlds have much more in store, and we look forward to the future of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and Pandora.”

Avengers: Endgame, boasting an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Chris Evans as Captain America, is the 22nd entry in the MCU.

It was the fastest film ever to reach the $1bn (£929m) barrier at the global box office – taking just five days.

Cameron’s Avatar, released in 2009, surpassed Titanic as the highest grossing film ever and spent 10 years with the record.

The announcement of the global box office sales came at the weekend, as Marvel Studios revealed a host of upcoming superhero films, including Thor: Love And Thunder, starring Natalie Portman as a female Thor; The Eternals, starring Angelina Jolie; Blade, featuring Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, and a solo film for Johansson’s Black Widow.

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