Get your salt shakers handy, because this one is just a rumor for now. It all started with a post at ComicBook.com that wondered if Disney should re-release the forthcoming extended cut of The Avengers in theaters, in the hopes of eking out enough theatrical revenue to unseat both Titanic and Avatar from the top two slots on the "All-Time Box Office" list. It probably wouldn't work on the international list, where The Avengers is over $1.5 billion away from Avatar's record, but domestically it's only $200 million shy. Frankly, even that's a stretch, but with the film seeing almost no critical backlash from its overwhelming success, and the promise of a director's cut within months of the original release to capitalize on the zeitgeist, it's not outside the realm of possibility. (Adjusted for inflation, of course, neither Avatar nor The Avengers come even close to Gone with the Wind, The Sound of Music or Star Wars, at least domestically.)
But that was a pure "What If." Now Superhero Authority (via Geekscape) is claiming that a "Hollywood source" is saying that the studio thinks the re-release is "a possibility," although nothing is confirmed. Neither Disney nor Marvel Studios have officially commented yet. So yeah, right now it's just a big honking rumor.
However, if word of mouth spreads and audiences seem favorable, it could happen, and wouldn't that be grand? Joss Whedon's director's cut supposedly includes over 35 minutes of additional footage, which could very well justify the additional ticket price to many moviegoers, and with the box office up only 2% from last summer, The Avengers notwithstanding, it's easy to imagine theater owners jumping at the chance to make the most of the phenomenon before the film hits DVD and Blu-ray in the fall.
CraveOnline will be back with more Avengers news after they announce the assembly cut.