Armed with new footage, Avengers: Endgame returns to theaters with record in sight

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With$44 million separating it from the worldwide box office record, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame is heading back to theaters with new footage.

The studio is clearly hoping to knock current record-holder Avatar out of the top spot and top the James Cameron film’s $2.78 billion run. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige indicated that the film will return to theaters June 28 with some new footage to reward anyone who helps make it the world’s highest-grossing movie of all time.

During a Spider-Man: Far From Home press event, Feige described the extra elements that the re-release of Avengers: Endgame will feature.

“[It’s] not an extended cut, but there will be a version going into theaters with a bit of a marketing push with a few new things at the end of the movie,” he told ScreenRant. “If you stay and watch the movie, after the credits, there’ll be a deleted scene, a little tribute, and a few surprises. Which will be next weekend.”

In re-releasing Endgame to challenge the box-office record books, Marvel is taking a page from the playbook that helped give Cameron the top two films worldwide for most of the last decade.

Both 2009’s Avatar and 1997’s Titanic — the highest-grossing movies of all time, until Endgame along — benefitted from heavily promoted re-releases that brought them back to theaters, with the 2010 re-release of Avatar in a “Special Edition” format offering audiences a few minutes of new footage that weren’t included in the original theatrical run. Titanic was re-released in 2012 in a new, 3D format, and the ticket sales it generated pushed it past the $2 billion mark to join Avatar as the only two movies to cross that threshold up to that point.

Re-releases also helped the original Star Wars trilogy compete with the subsequent prequel and sequel films, with each installment getting a significant bump in total box-office revenue after they returned to theaters in the late 1990s. Smaller films also benefit from re-releases, with many movies debuting in a small number of theaters in order to gauge interest, only to return to theaters after they win awards or generate word-of-mouth buzz.

The re-release strategy isn’t isolated to Hollywood, either.

Video game companies, publishers, and even music studios often re-release popular titles in new editions in the hope of giving their sales numbers a late bump, and given the popularity of Endgame, it seems likely that Marvel’s plan could send the film to the top of the record books. With the worldwide box-office tally for Endgame currently sitting at $2.74 billion, there’s a good chance it could earn the $44 million it needs in just a few weeks if the new footage generates positive conversation.

And if anyone can do it, it’s the Avengers.

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