Avengers: Endgame surpasses Avatar to become highest-grossing film of all time

James Cameron's film featuring a motion-capture blue alien has been beaten by the Marvel movie starring a motion capture purple alien

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After a decade-long reign as the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide, Avatar has been usurped by Avengers: Endgame.

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Having grossed over $2.7902 billion (£2.23 billion) at the box office, the Marvel superhero team-up – starring Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Chris Evans as Captain America – has overtaken the $2.7897bn earned by James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi epic.

Celebrating the news on Instagram, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth thanked all Marvel fans for pushing the 22nd film in the MCU to “historic heights”. Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Endgame, also paid tribute to the “greatest fans in the universe, from the bottom of our hearts”.

Interestingly, Endgame is only the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time in the UK, taking in £88.6 million. The top spot is held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens (£123.2m), followed by Bond films Skyfall (£103.2m) and Spectre (£95.2m).

Neytiri (Zoë Saldana, right) teaches Jake (Sam Worthington) in Avatar (Sky, EH)
Neytiri (Zoë Saldana, right) teaches Jake (Sam Worthington) in Avatar (Sky, EH)

The Force Awakens also holds the top-grossing record in the US and Canada ($936m), with Endgame making most of its earnings across countries including China, Mexico, India and South Korea.

This isn’t the first box office record Endgame has broken, with the film having the biggest debut weekend of all time in the UK, North America, China and 41 other markets.

Endgame previously surpassed the box office earnings of Cameron’s 1997 hit, Titanic. He marked the moment on Twitter, congratulating Marvel Studios with a photo of the fateful cruise ship being sunk by the superhero franchise’s trademark symbol.

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He wrote: “To Kevin [Feige, Marvel president] and everyone at Marvel, an iceberg sank the real Titanic. It took the Avengers to sink my Titanic. Everyone here at Lightstorm Entertainment salutes your amazing achievement. You’ve shown that the movie industry is not only alive and well, it’s bigger than ever!”