Could the China Trade War Stop Avengers: Endgame from Passing Avatar?

As Avengers: Endgame continues its massive cooldown, it doesn't look like it will be getting much more help from the biggest foreign box office market. Recent reports (via China box office reporter Gavin Feng) suggest that China has decided to not extend the film's theatrical release in the country, meaning Endgame will stop showing as soon as next week.

Though extensions are somewhat uncommon at the Chinese box office, it's a peculiar choice given the current trade war raging between the country and the United States. To date, the Oval Office has imposed tariffs on over $250 billion worth of Chinese goods while China has since retaliated by placing tariffs on $110b worth of imports from the United States. The decision looks even more strange after realizing that Avengers: Infinity War was granted a 30-day extension.

If Endgame were to receive an extension in the market, many industry insiders think the film could make upwards of an additional $10 million. That said, China has already responded exceptionally well to the Marvel Studios movie, becoming the highest-grossing foreign film to earn a release in the country. Current regulations in China only allow 34 foreign releases per year, though that has been unofficially expanded as of late, with upwards of 40 foreign films from the United States, France, India, and South Korea allowed to screen last year.

The extra $10m may not seem like much, but Endgame will need all the cash it can get as it digs deeper into its theatrical release. Through Thursday night, the Russo Brothers-directed film has grossed $2.53b worldwide, still at least $253m behind Avatar's unprecedented global haul of $2.79b. What once seemed guaranteed is growing less certain by the day, with the property ending up with some the MCU's biggest drops week to week.

In fact, Endgame will likely be dethroned by John Wick: Chapter 3 this weekend, which is on pace to break $55m in its debut outing. As of this afternoon, the latest Avengers film was only tracking to make $30m between Friday and Sunday, a 47 percent decrease from last weekend. If Endgame were to show in theaters the same amount of time as Infinity War, it'd need to average over $18m per week throughout the remainder of its run to topple Avatar's worldwide record.


Where do you think Endgame will end up making at the box office? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by joining the conversation on Twitter by hitting me up at @AdamBarnhardt!

Avengers: Endgame is now in theaters and will be followed by Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2nd.