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Disney's presentation of Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame" has officially surpassed "Avatar" to become the world's highest-grossing film of all time, several months after the film obliterated opening weekend records.

Why it matters: The feat underscores Disney's position as the king of the box office. Disney has had the top grossing movie every year since 2012 and been the top grossing studio since 2016.

By the numbers: Disney has reported an estimated $2,790.2 million in revenue through Sunday for "Avengers: Endgame," per Comscore. James Cameron's 2009 science fiction film "Avatar" had previously held the top spot of the highest grossing global release of all time with $2,789.7 million.

The big picture: Disney's success can largely be attributed to the three franchises that it has cultivated or acquired over the past few years: Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars.

  • Including content from Disney studios, Disney properties represent roughly 40% of the revenue from the top 100 top-grossing films.
  • Many of these films and franchises were acquired by Disney via its acquisition of most of 21 Century Fox's entertainment assets last year. Ironically, the Avatar franchise now sits within the Disney family ("Avatar 2" is set for release in 2021.).
Expand chart
Data: Box Office Mojo; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Bottom line: Avengers' success speaks to the power of cinema in driving revenue and cultural relevance for film. At a time where streaming movies is growing in popularity, it's notable that a modern film has been able to still break through at the box office.

Go deeper

34 mins ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.

First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.