Avatar: $2.788 Billion
Avengers Endgame: $2.713 Billion
Endgame got another +$25m from last week, needs another $75m to go.
Hoping that Avengers can at least stay in theatre for the whole summer which should hopefully beat Avatar by then. Crazy how times change where Avatar has been in theaters for 34 weeks while Avengers has only been out for about 5 weeks and feels like it wont stay in theater anywhere near as long as Avatar did.
Times really haven't changed much. At least not in the past 10 years. In that time, movies have typically relied on supersaturated opening weekends
However, there is one notable exception. Movies released around the holidays tend to linger. This is a combination of many schools and offices being closed for many days around Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as October and January surrounding them as the box office's slowest release periods. Because of that, you see movies like Frozen (and a ton of other animated movies), The Force Awakens, Jumanji, and even Aquaman last year lingering for some time.
Avatar, of course, broke even that. For some reason James Cameron's movies are able to do that. Titanic and Avatar are both easily the blockbusters with the best legs since the 80s when studios opened their movies more slowly, let the audience build, and it wasn't unusual to see a movie still in theaters six months later.
The closest summer movie I can think of that lingered like that semi-recently was The Phantom Menace 20 years ago. A film that, oddly enough, got a reputation for being a movie that fell off a cliff. Partially that came from simple blind backlash. And part of it came from being compared to Titanic, which had unfathomable legs. It only made a moderate even at its time $28.6 million its opening weekend in December (only a couple million ahead of the Bond movie releasing that weekend), but held and stayed the #1 movie until April where it was still making over $10 million every weekend. It actually gained theaters every single week for its first 15 weeks of release.