As predicted on this blog weeks ago, “The Avengers” has now become the 3rd highest grossing film of all time(domestically and internationally), as of just this past Friday. Yes, obviously, Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk and Thor have proven almost unbeatable at the box office this spring. But it is also becoming apparent that, compared to director James Cameron—battling arch-villain Loki is mere child’s play. As impressive as topping the domestic take of 2008’s “The Dark Knight” and the international total of last summer’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2″(around 533 million and 1.3 billion, respectively)may be, it is now likely that Cameron’s “Avatar” and “Titanic” will remain as co-champions. Of course, “Avatar” could be called the undisputed titlist with its nearly 2.8 billion dollar haul—including 2 billion plus without the inclusion of the U.S and Canada. “Titanic”‘s #2 slot boasts an overall take of almost 2.2 billion with an approaching 660 million domestic tally—its numbers bolstered by its big 3D re-release this year. But “Titanic” still sinks “Avatar” when the adjusted for ticket price inflation numbers are taken into account. This is an estimated total based on average ticket prices throughout the years, and, despite its lack of true accuracy—“Titanic” manages an impressive feat in this category. Only four films are more popular nationwide than 1997’s Oscar Winner for Best Picture when this creative accounting is put in place—those films are 1939’s “Gone with the Wind”, 1977’s “Star Wars”, 1965’s “The Sound of Music” and 1982’s “E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial”. The “unsinkable” ship is a solid 5th on this list, with 2009’s “Avatar” having to settle for #14 by this method of tabulation. So, if James Cameron’s epics prove unreachable, what is left for the mighty Avengers to conquer? It still could become only the third film in history to surpass 600 million dollars in North America alone. That number would have been within spitting distance of the number 2 slot, if not for “Titanic”‘s big 3D re-launch this past spring. “The Avengers” might also become the 3rd movie to cross the one billion dollar line internationally. After Cameron’s gargantuas, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” is closest with 947 million—“The Avengers” current overseas take is around 793 million. Always remember, the studios report grosses so that there will always be a new champion somewhere down the line. If pure ticket sales were the only criteria, it would be difficult to approach the popularity of “Gone with the Wind” and “Star Wars”. Those two films are truly the most popular ever released in the United States. But Cameron’s twin titans certainly boast some extraordinary dollar signs, and “The Avengers” has so far impressively decimated every other 2012 release in its path as we approach the second half of this year. Will the forthcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Dark Knight Rises” prove to be conquerors of this worldwide smash? Both July releases have a major uphill battle to even get close—and my prediction would be no. So, “The Avengers” will almost certainly retain its championship status for the calendar year 2012 and into the forseeable future. Beyond that, however, a new blockbuster will almost certainly make a run at it…and maybe at James Cameron too.
“The Avengers” one unbeatable adversary…Mr. James Cameron