James Cameron Claims He Was Relieved When Avengers: Endgame Beat Avatar at Box Office

This year, Avengers: Endgame surpassed James Cameron’s Avatar to become the highest-grossing film ever at the box office. Rather than resentful, Cameron says he felt a sense of relief at the news, which makes sense when you consider what it may mean for the coming Avatar sequels. “It gives me a lot of hope,” Cameron told Deadline. “Avengers: Endgame is demonstrable proof that people will still go to movie theaters. The thing that scared me most about making Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 was that the market might have shifted so much that it simply was no longer possible to get people that excited about going and sitting in a dark room with a bunch of strangers to watch something.

“Will Avatar 2 and 3 be able to create that kind of success in the zeitgeist? Who knows. We’re trying. Maybe we do, maybe we don’t, but the point is, it’s still possible,” Cameron continued. “I’m happy to see it, as opposed to an alternate scenario where, with the rapid availability, custom-designed experience that everybody can create for themselves with streaming services and all the different platforms, that [theatrical potential] might not have existed anymore.”

Avengers: Endgame’s total now stands at $2.79 billion. It surpassed Avatar’s $2.789 billion during the week of San Diego Comic-Con.

“Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theatre both in terms of storytelling and at the box office,” said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, in a press release when Endgame opened with the first $1 billion global debut in box office history. “Though Endgame is far from an end for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these first 22 films constitute a sprawling achievement, and this weekend’s monumental success is a testament to the world they’ve envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world.”

“From the very beginning with Iron Man, all we’ve wanted to do was tell stories that brought these characters to life onscreen the way we’ve experienced them as fans of the comics,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios. “That we’ve had so many other successes in this journey leading to this unbelievable result with Avengers: Endgame has been almost entirely due to the fans around the world who have supported us through it all. Our directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, and our writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, really brought this story home, and I am also incredibly thankful for our cast and filmmakers from across the MCU and all who’ve worked so hard to make these films the best they can be, including the amazing teams at Marvel Studios and Disney. And of course, without Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, none of this would have been possible.”

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Avatar 2 opens on December 17, 2021. Avatar 3 opens December 22, 2023, Avatar 4 is scheduled for release on December 19, 2025. Avatar 5 is scheduled for December 17, 2027.