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It’s official. Avengers: Endgame is the biggest movie ever

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It finally happened. It took the better part of three months and one theatrical re-release, but Avengers: Endgame has topped $2.789 billion at the global box office to become the highest-grossing movie of all time.

Going into Comic-Con 2019, Endgame take totaled $2.789 billion, a mere $500,000 less than the former record holder, James Cameron’s Avatar. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige kicked off Marvel’s 2019 Comic-Con panel by announcing that Endgame was all but certain to close the gap by the end of the weekend. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Marvel’s projections moments later.

The overall box office crown is the biggest record that Avengers: Endgame holds, but it’s not the only one. Last spring, Marvel Studios’ long-awaited conclusion to the Infinity Saga passed the $2 billion mark in a mere 11 days, making it the fastest film ever to reach that milestone. Avatar, the previous record holder, took 47 days to reach that threshold.

On the domestic front, Avengers: Endgame is currently the second-highest grossing film with $853 million in box office receipts. Only Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens did better. However, the first installment in Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy still holds the record for the best second weekend in North American cinemas, as Endgame‘s $145.8 million haul couldn’t quite top the $149 million that Star Wars earned in its second frame.

Avengers: Endgame started breaking records well before it actually arrived in theaters. As soon as advance tickets went on sale on April 2, online retailers like Atom and Fandango were flooded with traffic, leading to long loading times, site crashes, and delays for customers.

None of those problems deterred Marvel fans, however. On Fandango, it only took six hours for Avengers: Endgame to sell more tickets than any other movie during its first 24 hours of availability, beating the previous record holder, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, in just 24 hours. On Atom Tickets, Endgame outsold the second-place finisher, Aquaman, four-to-one. Over at Regal Cinemas, the first eight hours of advance ticket sales for Endgame resulted in more sales than the film’s predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, racked up in an entire week.

The hype didn’t stop once Avengers: Endgame hit theaters. Thursday night screenings crushed The Force Awakens‘ overall takes, netting Disney and Marvel $60 million domestically and resulting in the best “preview night” earnings ever.

After that, the records just kept falling. With $157 million in box office proceeds on Friday, April 25, Avengers: Endgame had the best single-day gross of all time. It had the all-time biggest opening weekend, earning $357 million domestically –about $100 million more than Avengers: Infinity War earned a year prior. No film has reached $350 million (in three days) or $400 million (in four days) faster.

And those are just the domestic numbers. If you take the international box office into account, Avengers: Endgame made a staggering $1.2 billion over its first five days (it took Avengers: Infinity War, the previous winner, 11 days to cross the $1 billion threshold), obliterating expectations and securing the title of best opening weekend ever. Avengers: Endgame did have one advantage, however: It played on more screens during its opening weekend than any movie before it — and yet screenings still sold out.

Avengers: Endgame was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and is a direct sequel to 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, which ended when the alien warlord Thanos snapped half of the living beings in the universe out of existence. It’s also the swan song for a number of high-profile Avengers, but don’t worry: Marvel has plenty of new heroes, including the Eternals, waiting to fill in in the gaps.

Updated on July 20, 2019: Updated box office numbers and added Endgame’s new record.

Correction: This story initially misstated Avengers: Endgame‘s worldwide box office gross. It was $2.789 billion when it beat Avatar.

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Chris Gates
Christopher Gates lives in Los Angeles, CA and writes about movies, TV, video games, and other pop culture curiosities. In…
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