Avengers: Endgame has been making a lot of money. So much, in fact, that it’s now overtaken James Cameron’s Titanic box office record within a month of release. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, in its second weekend of release “Endgame surpassed Titanic (1997), which earned $2.187 billion (unadjusted for inflation).” Cameron’s Avatar is (for now) still the all-time box-office champ at $2.8 billion.
While there’s no shortage of metaphors that can be used to discuss a blockbuster movie’s financial success—elephants and bulls, tsunamis and steamrollers—Cameron, master of the deep, has chosen to congratulate Endgame’s creators with a richly nuanced reference to the real-world Titanic (and, presumably, many of its terrified passengers) sinking into the ocean.
“An iceberg sank the real Titanic,” Cameron acknowledges, before adding, “It took The Avengers to sink my Titanic.” This text is accompanied by a very fun image of a gigantic Avengers logo upending the ship, half of its massive structure sinking into the icy waters alongside the just-silenced screams of so many, many unpictured dead.
Long before it was turned into a movie by Cameron, the sinking of the Titanic was, of course, an early 20th-century cultural phenomenon on par with the Avengers, a supposedly unsinkable ship that hit a (sadly unbranded) iceberg in the Atlantic ocean. Until today, we remembered this tragedy as cautionary lesson about industrial hubris and a stark highlight of class inequality’s deadly effects. Now, though, we must think of it as a 1997 movie that didn’t make as much money as a 2019 movie.
Having marked one earnings milestone with this form of congratulations, the next question is what sort of imagery Cameron will employ if Endgame earns more than his eco-fable Avatar. We’ll just have to wait with bated breath, knowing that the moment’s finally come when the director tweets, like, Thanos laughing above a forest full of blue cat people running in horror from the roaring fires devouring their home. If the Avengers’ success can sink the “unsinkable ship,” surely they can speed up the devastation of climate change allegories as well.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]
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