LOS ANGELES — Marvel announced plans on Tuesday to re-release Avengers: Endgame with bonus material in theaters, as the summer's biggest blockbuster drew agonisingly close to breaking the global box office record.
Endgame has pulled in US$2.749 billion around the world, according to industry watcher Exhibitor Relations -- the second-highest haul of all time, trailing James Cameron's Avatar by around $40 million.
But from Friday, Marvel hopes to entice die-hard fans back into theaters for one last viewing of Endgame with an "unfinished deleted scene" and a new video introduction by director Anthony Russo.
Fans attending what Marvel is calling the Bring Back event at specific US cinemas will also receive limited-edition Avengers artwork -- a statement on the company's website announcing the move featured a poster with Tony Stark's catchphrase "We Love You 3000."
"If they can get this re-release going and get enough interest and have it out there long enough, who knows -- maybe it can get there," said Comscore's Paul Dergarabedian, referring to the Avatar record.
But the publicity from the re-release would also help to promote next month's release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, he added.
The latest Spider-Man film is a collaboration between rival studios Sony and Disney-owned Marvel, and picks up the story after the events of Endgame.
A "special sneak peek" of the film will also be included in the Endgame re-release.
"This just keeps that Marvel magic going in so many ways," said Dergarabedian.
Despite the buzz among Marvel fans about the re-release of its biggest hit, Endgame has in fact never been out of theaters -- it was still playing in 985 locations across North America at the weekend, earning another $2 million.
It already holds the record for the highest opening weekend, both in North America and globally.
But the chances of Endgame breaking the North American all-time box office record appear slimmer -- it still trails Star Wars: The Force Awakens by more than $100 million domestically. — VNS