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Avengers: Endgame breaks all-time box office record

Los Angeles

SUPERHERO blockbuster Avengers: Endgame has officially become the biggest movie of all time, Disney confirmed on Sunday, ending the 10-year reign of James Cameron's Avatar atop the global box office.

The epic finale to Disney-owned Marvel's 22-movie Infinity Saga story-arc took in an estimated US$1.5 million at home and abroad in its 13th weekend to bring its total since its April 26 release to US$2.7902 billion.

Avatar, released in 2009, made US$2.7897 billion, including its original theatrical run and various re-releases.

Marvel Studios and its parent company pre-empted the announcement on Saturday, revealing that Endgame was justUS $500,000 behind as of Friday, and would "close this gap by tomorrow." The coronation of Endgame was timed to coincide with the appearance of Marvel president Kevin Feige at San Diego Comic-Con, the world's biggest pop culture fan convention.

"You have to shout out to James Cameron, who held that title for a long time," Mr Feige said. "If you adjust for inflation he still holds the title, and he'll probably get the title again as soon as he puts out another movie. But for right now . . . Avengers: Endgame is the biggest film of all time." Both films are now owned by Disney following its takeover of 21st Century Fox.

Endgame drew a sky-high 94 per cent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website and features a star-studded cast including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper and Josh Brolin. The fourth and final chapter in the adventures of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and company cost around US$500 million to make, including marketing costs.

It set a new standard for Hollywood blockbusters in its opening weekend with stunning hauls of US$357 million in North America and US$1.2 billion worldwide.

Packed with spectacular fight scenes, special effects, gags and tear-jerking moments, it almost doubled the previous world record opening weekend take held by its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War. Among the many other superlatives thrown in Marvel's direction, Endgame was the widest release in North American history, showing on 4,662 screens in the US and Canada

Disney co-chairman Alan Horn thanked "fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights."

"Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron's Avatar remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies," he added. AFP