Marvel Studios re-released Avengers: Endgame into theaters on June 28, 2019, pushing the Avengers: Infinity War sequel past the James Cameron-directed Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time. Accompanied by an introduction from director Anthony Russo, an unfinished deleted scene starring Smart Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), a sneak peek look at that summer's Spider-Man: Far From Home, and a tribute to Marvel Comics visionary and Avengers co-creator Stan Lee, the Endgame reissue added another $7.8 million to its global haul in its first days to up its total to $2.76 billion. On July 21, after 89 days in theaters, Endgame unseated Avatar as the highest-grossing film and would finish its run with a worldwide total of $2.797 billion.
The unfinished deleted scene, which features actor Reginald VelJohnson in a cameo appearance as the hero Hulk rescues civilians from a burning building, remains exclusive to the theatrical reissue and is not included on the film's home media release. The 4K and Blu-ray versions of Endgame, as well as the digital version streaming exclusively on Disney+, include roughly five minutes of deleted scenes cut from both theatrical versions of Endgame.
Explaining the re-release's lack of additional deleted scenes in a 2019 interview, directors Anthony and Joe Russo said the three-hour, three-minute theatrical version includes almost all of the footage filmed while shooting Infinity War and Endgame back-to-back.
"We have almost everything in this movie that we shot," said Joe Russo. Added Anthony, "We love tight, propulsive storytelling. We like movies that are very dense in what they're offering you moment to moment so that when you revisit them, there's more there to keep chewing on. We try to structure movies that are very tight, and this is a tight three hours."
Endgame would close out the first 11-year chapter of the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe when Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) gave his life to prevent the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) from fulfilling his plans for universe-wide extermination, a sacrifice that spurred man-out-of-time Captain America (Chris Evans) to retire and hand his star spangled shield to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie).
Marvel's Infinity Saga, launched with Iron Man in 2008, would officially conclude with Far From Home in July 2019, where the recently resurrected Spider-Man (Tom Holland) navigated the fallout surrounding the death of mentor Tony Stark.
"To meet those expectations, and exceed them in many cases? I'm still processing it, to be honest with you," Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige said of Endgame's unprecedented success in a late 2019 interview. "Because for five years, our goal and our superstition was delivering on the promise of a finale in a way that wasn't expected, in a way that people weren't anticipating. And seeing audiences around the world respond to these characters that we've lived with for 10-plus years, they've lived with for 10-plus years, was a really remarkably emotional experience."
When celebrating Endgame being crowned the highest-grossing movie in late July 2019, the Russo brothers said in a joint statement, "To the greatest fans in the universe, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you." The Russos and Marvel Studios extended their thanks to fans with the We Love You 3000 event, a nine-city tour featuring appearances from the directors as part of Marvel-themed festivities.
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