James Cameron has a massive ego, but we all knew that. When you make two movies twelve years apart and they become the two most successful films in history, you’re going to think highly of yourself. And when Avengers: Endgame passed Avatar to become the highest-grossing movie worldwide, you just knew that it bothered the director. Especially since Endgame only barely squeaked by it after a re-release with new footage.
And while Cameron admits to the defeat, he believes Avatar would take back the crown if it was re-released as well. He also couldn’t help himself when mentioning the narrow margin between his film and the Marvel movie, saying:
“I don’t want to sound snarky after I took the high road [by congratulating Endgame],” he said. “But they beat us by one quarter of a percent. I did the math in my head while driving in this morning. I think accountants call that a rounding error.”
I looked up “rounding error” and it basically means the difference between an actual number and rounding off. Is he implying that Endgame might not’ve actually beaten Avatar and they just rounded up? Maybe, but the pettiness in that statement is astounding. It seems he just couldn’t resist, though. It’s like a back-handed compliment patting Avengers: Endgame on its little head.
Despite that, Cameron does believe that the success of Endgame helps the Avatar sequels by reaffirming that people do still go to the theater, explaining:
“I saw it as a really good sign. I was really concerned with all the new streaming services and the different ways people can consume movies right now that the theatergoing experience might have been eroded to the point that a new Avatar film — even if it were better than the first one, and better received — could never achieve the same box-office levels,” Cameron said. “Now at least we know such a thing is still possible at the movie theater. This gives me heart to go forward.”
He’s right on that last point. The sequels have no chance of being as successful as the original due to 3D no longer being a thing and Avatar kind of no longer being a thing. With Disney purchasing Fox though and now holding the rights to the franchise, it’ll definitely be interesting to see how much excitement there’ll be in returning to the world of Pandora.