Nolte: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Did Not Save a Box Office Still 10% Behind Last Year

Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame (Marvel Studios, 2019)
Marvel Studios

With Avengers: Endgame running out of steam, this year’s box office still lags ten percent behind 2018, 3.7 percent behind 2017, and even 1.2 percent behind 2016.

While there is no question Endgame is a massive, earth-shattering hit, it is still a box office disappointment to a certain extent. And I’m not the only one saying so. After a record-smashing opening weekend of $358 million domestic, well ahead of the $248 million opening for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Endgame will probably eke out a $825 million domestic compared to The Force Awakens’ $936 million.

Sure Endgame will be the second biggest box office hit in domestic history (if you ignore inflation), but it’s only going to end up grossing a little over $100 million more than last year’s Black Panther, and that has to be a disappointment for Marvel — that their showstopper, the title that some 20 titles were all leading to, is only going to do a little better than Black Panther.

Keep in mind that this is a look at the domestic box office. Worldwide, Endgame will more than double Black Panther and might even take the all-time crown away from Avatar. No small thing, although the domestic box office was not supposed to look like this going into Memorial Day of 2019, and it doesn’t look as though this Memorial weekend is going to be a barn burner.

Everyone got out of the way for this weekend’s release of Aladdin, the live-action remake starring The Mighty Will Smith. But as of now it is looking at a paltry opening of just $75 million — and that’s over four days. What’s more, that’s before the reviews come in and it is not a good sign when a studio embargoes its reviews until the last minute.

How disappointing would $75 million be?

Well, how disappointing was the opening for Solo: A Star Wars Story last Memorial Day weekend — which opened to $103 million over the same four days.

Overall, the domestic box office brought in $220 million last Memorial weekend, which means the 2019 domestic box office will probably be even further behind last year come Tuesday.

Can the future save this year’s domestic box office?

Godzilla 2 and the Elton John biopic Rocketman are already looking soft, tracking at $50 million and $25 million respectively, which is pathetic compared to the original Godzilla, which opened to $93 million in 2014, and Bohemian Rhapsody, which opened to $51 million last November.

After that, how excited are people about Dark Phoenix, Men In Black International, another Shaft, and a Child’s Play remake…?

Toy Story 4 will clean up, as will The Lion King live action remake (although the Dumbo and Aladdin live-action remake returns make me less sure of that). Then there’s the Hobbs and Shaw Fast and Furious spin-off and Spider-Man Far From Home…  Although, in order to save the year, those titles will have to best last year’s Jurassic World 2, Mission: Impossible 6, The Meg, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Equalizer 2, and Crazy Rich Asians.

Well, 2016 was a terrible box office year — so 2019 has to at least beat that … right?

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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