A lot of people are forgiving the drop off because of the "must see it before I get spoiled" approach that presumably frontloaded the movie so much. Endgame was the final movie of an 11 year movie chain, with the next Spider-Man movie serving as the epilogue. TLJ is a Star Wars movie, which means that it opens to too much hype, unrealistic expectations, and a segment of vocal cannibalistic fans that I think now hate the franchise more than they ever loved it just because its the cool thing to do.
I know. It just bugs me how much inconsistency there is. "Ticket sales legs past week 4 matter, except when they don't. Lifetime box office doesn't matter, except when it does. A sequel doing as good as its predecessor matters, except when it doesn't." There's little in the way of any real justification for those exceptions, making it borderline special pleading. The fact that Endgame declined faster than almost every other major ($300M+ domestic) action blockbuster in the past 20 years, has had an adjusted domestic post-Week 4 gross currently tracking to be less than several other MCU films (e.g., Iron Man, The Avengers, Guardians 1 & 2, Black Panther, Infinity War, Captain Marvel), and arguably has not met the most conservative expectations for its lifetime gross (most projections I've seen assumed $850-900M domestic and a very high likelihood of beating Avatar globally) gets ignored. Meanwhile, TLJ's big second weekend drop was jumped on as evidence of some major failing, even though that drop was a result of that Sunday being Christmas Eve, a bad day for films in general (which made "67% drop in the second weekend!" thing a bullshit argument to begin with), and when you go by full weeks its second-week drop was much more modest (in fact, it was up week-over-week every day from Monday to Thursday, which you might expect from Christmas Day but not from the three days after). Then its gross past Week 4, which admittedly wasn't spectacular, was attacked, even though Star Wars in general is somewhat more front-loaded than a lot of other films; in relative terms even TFA's legs were weaker than many other major action films this century, even though they were solid in absolute terms.
TLJ did well. Domestically and adjusted for inflation, it ranks #6 for the decade, #10 for the 21st century, and #26 for the "Blockbuster Era" of cinema (1975-present), as well as #12 all-time un-adjusted worldwide. It made over four times its production budget, so it was incredibly profitable. Nobody expected it to perform similarly to TFA. It dropped less from TFA than ESB did from ANH or AotC did from TPM. It really does seem like the cherry-picking and dogpiling on TLJ's box office returns all boils down to "I didn't like TLJ, so I'm going to latch onto anything I can to 'prove' it was a bad movie and downplay any success it had." I had enough of that back during TLJ's theatrical run, and since then I've refused to directly engage with those making such arguments.
Note that I'm not claiming that Endgame was a disappointment. It's a great movie that has done extremely well. Its seemingly anemic legs could have other explanations besides "not as many people felt it was worth repeat viewing." Maybe the repeat views were themselves more front-loaded, with fewer people waiting more than a month to go see it for the first or third or fifth time. We don't know. Movies in general have become increasingly more front-loaded over time, and some are more front-loaded than others, but being front-loaded and having relatively unimpressive post-Week 4 legs should not in and of themselves be viewed as an indication of some failing on the movie's part. Not for Endgame, not for The Last Jedi. No two films track exactly the same over the course of their lives, and so extrapolating a lifetime gross based on the opening weekend or even the first week is always going to be off the mark. There will always be a substantial margin of error involved. It's not too dissimilar from video games. Some people thought the PS3 would fail to outsell the GameCube by any appreciable margin in the U.S. because it tracked on par with the GC for a number of months, something that clearly did not occur (the PS3's lifetime U.S. sales were 2.3 times that of the GC). Conversely, some thought the PS4 would outsell the PS2 based on sales in its first several months, an outcome that clearly did not happen.
EDIT: In light of today's news and to go back to the main point of this thread, let's see if this updated version of Endgame with the post-credits scene will give it a boost to push it past Avatar globally (almost certainly won't happen domestically, though).
Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 19 June 2019