While it is pretty impressive to see a groundbreaking hit like “The Avengers” fall out of the top 10, nobody is crying any tears for Marvel Studios or Disney on this one. Really, it’s all gravy for the House of Mouse as it is yet another one of their films knocking a previous hit from the studio down a peg. Even setting that aside, there is no denying that the 2012 blockbuster was both a gigantic hit and one that redefined the modern era of mainstreaming filmmaking entirely.
Rounding out Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Avengers” brought together a handful of heroes from disparate, solo film franchises for one mega-blockbuster. The whole “cinematic universe” thing is very common now, but it’s easy to forget just how radical and uncertain it all seemed at the time. Yet, it worked like gangbusters, smashing records and earning $1.52 billion at the global box office. That, in turn, paved the way for everything that has happened in the MCU since, with $28 billion and counting worth of ticket sales to show for it.
But times change, moviegoing changes, and these records don’t stand forever. The one constant? James Cameron is the unquestioned and unrivaled king of blockbuster filmmaking. Period.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is in theaters now.