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James Cameron praises Avengers: Endgame for 'sinking' Titanic at box office
Over the weekend, Avengers: Endgame surpassed $2.2 billion at the global box office, overtaking James Cameron's Titanic (1997) as the second-highest grossing in history. This milestone is even more impressive when you consider the fact that it only took the Infinity War sequel (which broke $1 billion in its first weekend alone) just two weekends to reach such a massive figure.
Cameron, who has been particularly outspoken about "superhero fatigue," officially took notice and doffed his cap to the comic book film in a Twitter post today. Nevertheless, he still holds the top spot of the box office's highest grossers with 2009's Avatar, which accrued $2.78 billion by the time it was finished its global theatrical run.
"To Kevin [Feige] and everybody at Marvel," reads the director's message, which was topped by the Avengers logo upending the famous ship. "An iceberg sank the real Titanic. It took the Avengers to sink my Titanic. Everyone here are Lightstorm Entertainment salutes your amazing achievement. You've shown at the movie industry is not only alive and well, it's bigger than ever!"
This type of directorial/studio message has been a proud tradition in Hollywood blockbuster history that goes all the way back to the late 1970s when the first Star Wars (1977) overtook Jaws (1975) at the domestic box office. To congratulate his friend George Lucas on this feat, Steven Spielberg took out an ad in Variety, which depicted R2-D2 securing a fishing hook around the jagged tooth of the giant shark. Similar back-and-forths happened after the releases of E.T. and Titanic.
More recently, Lucasfilm "passed the lightsaber" over to Marvel Studios when Avengers: Infinity War topped The Force Awakens' opening weekend ticket sales record by about $10 million. When the first Jurassic World outdid the first Avengers in terms of its domestic opening, Marvel Studios congratulated Universal with a picture of Chris Pratt's Owen Grady riding a T. rex that was holding Thor's hammer (Cap isn't the only worthy one!).
As such, Cameron may want to get another Twitter post ready for when Endgame tops Avatar as the highest-grossing movie ever. If it ends up breaking $3 billion worldwide, any other film will have a helluva time unseating the culmination of the MCU's Infinity Saga.
Earlier this week, Disney unveiled its updated theatrical release schedule, which included all of the 20th Century Fox projects it had purchased in March. Some were surprised to see that Cameron's four Avatar sequels were pushed off yet again, with the immediate follow-up to the 2009 film now arriving in December of 2021.