Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Avengers: Endgame Just Lost A Box Office Record To This New Movie

Over the years we've witnessed certain trends when it comes to the highest grossing films. For a time, your best bet for having a movie in the No. 1 slot was simple — just have it be directed by James Cameron. The 1997 film Titanic reigned for over a decade with $2.4 billion in worldwide sales. It was only with 2009's Avatar that Cameron himself outpaced that with $2.79 billion at the box office.

While many other franchises like Star Wars and Jurassic Park took solid, running leaps to overcome Cameron, it wasn't until Kevin Feige and the MCU culminated their hard work with Avengers: Endgame that a new champion among champions was crowned — and by only a scant $7 million difference, too.

The key to Endgame's success wasn't just that it was the payoff to years of Marvel's storytelling, it also did extremely well in a specific market — China. In its opening weekend alone, Endgame made $175 million in China (and $630 million overall), which was more than Titanic made in its entire run in that country. And that's to speak nothing of Endgame's, and you'll pardon the pun, titanic opening weekend take in North America: a whopping $357 million.

But times change and records must be broken, so say hello to the surprising film that's shattering Endgame's records — Detective Chinatown 3.

Detective Chinatown's box office might signal a return to theaters

Detective Chinatown is a buddy comedy franchise directed by Chen Sicheng that's been around since 2015. While the original film only grossed $125 million worldwide, it took off very quickly thereafter. It's sequel, which brought its heroes to Chinatown in New York City in 2018, saw an immediate leap in sales to $544 million at the box office — $541 million of which was from Chinese audiences alone.

However, that was just the tip of the iceberg and just like Avengers: Endgame took over from Titanic and Avatar, Detective Chinatown 3 used its franchise's forward-moving momentum to absolutely destroy Endgame's previous record of highest opening gross — and handily, too. In a single weekend, Detective Chinatown 3 made $397 million at the Chinese box office — that's $40 million more than Endgame's previous record. Although it remains unlikely for the film to meaningfully break into any other markets, its success in China serves as a reminder of just how powerful that market remains to big-budget filmmaking.

This success also hopefully signals the likelihood that, once populations across the globe gain better access to the vaccine for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, movie theaters will be able to safely bounce back.