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The Real Reason Disney Is Re-Releasing Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame was released with plenty of fanfare in April of 2019, stunning fans with the epic culmination of over 20 movies released across more than a decade. Unsurprisingly, the film utterly destroyed box office records and was immediately adored by critics and Marvel fans across the world, who praised the film for providing a satisfying, deeply emotional, and thoughtful ending to the stories of the original Avengers, including Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and Chris Evans' Captain America.

After the overwhelming success of Endgame, it seemed as if Marvel was gearing up for its next phase, with new characters on the horizon and fresh stories being prepped for the Disney+ streaming service. But in June of 2019, Marvel's head honcho Kevin Feige made the surprise announcement that Endgame would be re-released in theaters. While not technically an extended cut, it's being given, as Feige put it, "a bit of a marketing push with a few new things at the end of the movie." Why would Disney re-release this beloved box office blockbuster again less than two months after its original release and just before Spider-Man: Far from Home hits theaters on July 2? Here are a few reasons.

It could surpass Avatar

There's one extremely obvious reason as to why Endgame will be returning to theaters this summer, and it has to do with another blockbuster that still holds the reigning box office title. In 2009, James Cameron's Avatar seized all-time worldwide box office crown and has held it for an entire decade.

Endgame seemed primed to break Avatar's record as it surged ahead at the box office. It did set plenty of other records, becoming the fastest film to ever surpass $2 billion at the box office (eclipsing the entire box office revenue of its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, in just 11 days). But as it began getting pushed out of theaters by an onslaught of summer blockbusters, Endgame found itself just $45 million shy of beating Avatar (which seems like a lot, but considering its total gross, is merely a drop in the bucket). Not content with letting his film finish second, it's clear that Feige is in it to win it, and re-releasing Endgame to its millions of devoted fans might just be the exact move that will push this Avengers film over the edge to take the crown from James Cameron's otherworldly odyssey.

It will provide even more closure for Phase 3

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been defined by "phases" ever since the Avengers first started assembling. While it certainly seems as if Endgame was the perfect conclusion to Phase 3, it was recently announced that there's one last movie officially slated before the mysterious fourth phase begins. During a fan event in Shanghai, Feige surprised fans by naming Spider-Man: Far from Home as the actual closer for Phase 3, rather than the beginning of an entirely new phase.

Fans loved Endgame because it provided perfect closure that was years in the making, and perhaps the new footage included in this re-release will take that even further. As a farewell to the long-running "Infinity Saga," critics and fans praised the film for its emotional impact and thoughtful ending, which felt like exactly the right kind of fan service, especially after Infinity War's heart-wrenching cliffhanger in 2018. Even though it's not the official ending to this phase of the MCU, Endgame closed out the majority of the Avengers' ongoing stories. It feels fitting that fans will get a few more tidbits and perhaps find themselves even more at peace with the fates of their favorite characters.

It could boost ticket sales for Far from Home

The re-release announcement was even more surprising considering that Endgame will return to theaters shortly before the July 2nd release of the next Spider-Man film, Far from Home. While this seems like bad news for Far from Home at first, it could actually turn out to be a huge boost for Tom Holland's next outing as New York's friendly neighborhood webslinger.

This won't be the first time Marvel debuts a new movie against one of its biggest performers. In early 2018, Black Panther and Infinity War ended up running concurrently in theaters, and both films performed massively well at the box office without stepping on each other's toes. Plus, as far as Endgame goes, this won't even be the first time it runs alongside one of its contemporaries. Captain Marvel, which was released over a month before Endgame, saw a small bump in ticket sales once it was joined by the juggernaut sequel. In the end, it certainly won't hurt Marvel to run two surefire hits alongside each other, especially considering the positive early reviews for Far from Home.

It'll keep Marvel in the news

With the end of the Infinity Saga and the start of a new phase (the details on which have been sparse at best), it's not impossible that Marvel might have perceived a dip in its fanbase, especially with fans who were attached to characters that exited the franchise during the final moments of Endgame. With fewer big movies on the horizon (especially considering that Endgame was absolutely the most highly-anticipated movie of early 2019, if not of the entire year), losing both Iron Man and Captain America might have been tough for Marvel to overcome. Nevertheless, it's clear that the studio is determined to remain front and center in the news for the long haul.

Feige's announcement put Endgame firmly back in the news, making headlines all over the internet. Furthermore, that came on the heels of news that Marvel also plans to make its return to one of the biggest pop culture events on the planet. After taking a year off to bask in the Infinity War/Endgame glow (and to avoid dropping any spoilers), it's rumored that Marvel will return to San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 to make some major announcements about their upcoming projects. Between these two pieces of news, it's obvious that Marvel will remain one of the most talked-about studios in the business for years to come.

It all comes back to Disney

News of Endgame's triumphant return to theaters was likely welcomed by fans, but it was hard not to take the news somewhat cynically. After all, it was just a few days after one of Endgame's directors, Anthony Russo, said he wasn't focusing on the box office battle between his film and Avatar that Kevin Feige announced news of the re-release.

It's obvious that Feige is unhappy with his crown jewel coming in second to James Cameron's epic, which will see a lineup of sequels in the coming years. It seems completely doable that this re-release could actually close that $45 million gap between the two films, considering that Endgame grossed a staggering $1.2 billion during its opening weekend with $60 million from preview screenings alone, setting a new record right then and there. However, there's one big winner in this fight: after its merger with Fox, Disney owns not only Marvel, but Avatar as well. It makes perfect sense, then, that they would want to pit their two biggest dogs against each other. 

Another less obvious winner? Zoe Saldana, who appears in both box office busting franchises.

It'll give Endgame a unique distinction

Endgame has been setting itself apart from the pack since its release, breaking records left and right during its opening weekend and beyond. After its Thursday opening night, it broke records every single day during that first weekend, firmly establishing itself as a powerhouse and finding a place for itself in the annals of film history.

However, with this re-release, Endgame will take on yet another cinematic distinction. Plenty of movies are re-released — sometimes ito commemorate anniversaries or to debut new footage, as with the recent week-long re-release of A Star is Born. Before the era of home video, reissues were the norm. But for Endgame to serve as a spring hit as well as a summer blockbuster feels pretty unprecedented, especially since it will make its return to theaters just before the July 4th holiday weekend. Fans will undoubtedly flock back to theaters to relive their favorite movie of the year with an added twist. By the time 2019 comes to a close, it feels likely that Endgame will rank among the top movies even during a busy summer that includes Toy Story 4, the Lion King remake, Spider-Man, and even a few that aren't from Disney.