The Avengers: Infinity War is far from the highest grossing film of all time. In fact, it’s not even the highest grossing movie of the year. That dubious honor goes to a different Marvel property, Black Panther, according to Box Office Mojo
Today Forbes has predicted that Avengers: Infinity War will not surpass Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While some outlets are reporting Avengers: Infinity War as the 4th highest grossing film of all time, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Titanic, and Avatar, those figures do not tell the entire story. As it happens, that report is only for worldwide box office totals, which do not account for inflation.
When inflation is taken into account — as the price of a movie ticket today will run the average movie-goer far more than it ran them in 1975 — Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t even crack the top 30, according to Forbes. In fact, only a single Marvel entry at all places in the top 30 highest grossing films of all time, when adjusted for inflation. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) barely makes the cut, coming in at number 29.
Domestic box office figures indicate the highest grossing film of all time is in fact Gone With the Wind with an adjusted gross of more than $1.8 billion. In 1939, when the film was released, it took in approximately $200 million.
Other films with adjusted grosses topping Avengers include some obvious contenders like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Jaws. However, some of the other Marvel-topping titles may come as a surprise to many. The 1973 infamous horror film The Exorcist actually places 9th, with titles like The Lion King and The Graduate also trumping the adjusted box office take for Marvel’s darling property.
Director James Cameron released Titanic in 1997, which had a huge run at the box office and stayed in theaters for nearly a year after its release. The same director released Avatar which also smashed box office records at the time.
The Walt Disney Company is far from hurting for money, as they now own both Star Wars and Marvel, not to mention Pixar. It seems like perhaps tapping James Cameron to direct one of their upcoming properties could be an interesting experiment to see if the number one spot can possibly be dethroned. But as Gone With The Wind has been sitting as a king on its throne for approximately 80 years, that seems unlikely.
Another Avengers entry will be released in 2019.