‘Avatar’ expected to reclaim top-grossing film title after China re-release

'Avengers: Endgame', directed by the Russo Brothers, is currently the holder of the top box-office film of all time

FILE - This image released by 20th Century Fox shows the characters Neytiri, right, and Jake in a scene from the 2009 movie "Avatar." The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday laid out its plans for upcoming 20th Century Fox films. James Cameron’s long-delayed “Avatar 2” will now open in theaters in December 2021 instead of its most recent date of December 2020. The two subsequent “Avatar” sequels will move to 2023 and 2025, respectively. (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, File)
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Avatar, the 2009 film about the battle between humans and native creatures on an alien moon, is poised to retake the title of top-grossing film of all time following a re-release in China.

The picture, from director James Cameron, grossed an estimated $3.5 million Friday in the country, Walt Disney Co said. That puts it just shy of the $2.97 billion total collected by Avengers: Endgame, which Disney released in 2019.

China is the top-performing film market since the pandemic. With theatres there reopened for several months now, local movies in particular are enjoying some of their strongest box-office sales ever.

Avatar passed Titanic, another Cameron production, to become the top-grossing film in 2010. It held the title until Endgame released. Disney, which acquired the Avatar franchise through its purchase of Fox's entertainment assets, has high hopes for a new series of films currently in the works.

The fight for bragging rights over the biggest movie ever is less fierce these days, especially considering Disney owns the biggest properties. When Endgame passed Avatar in 2019, Cameron tweeted a picture of Iron Man interacting with Pandora wildlife along with a congratulatory note.

Avatar 2, which was expected to hit theatres at the end of this year, has been pushed to December 2022.

The film's reschedule has also affected the three further sequels planned.