With the highly anticipated screening of Avengers: Endgame in town, there’s no other game worth playing at the moment, and the millions of people who will be flocking to theaters will agree. Disney and Marvel Studios’ superhero juggernaut has already crashed websites and started fiery debates online even before its worldwide release.
Think about it for a moment. Beginning on Thursday night, the 22nd film in the Marvel Universe’s saga will be screened in more screens in the United States and Canada than any other movie in history. Even with more than 4,600 theaters already lined up for its screening, the demand will likely outstrip the supply (i.e., venues).
Many of the theaters will also stay open round-the-clock during the movie’s run including 17 AMC theaters scheduled to open 72 hours straight to meet the demand. Around $120 million in ticket sales at Atom and Fandango has set records and AMC’s website has crashed due to the frenzied early ticket sales.
The film industry is in need of the good news, too. The domestic revenues has decreased by 17% in comparison with the same period in 2018. Endgame is the game-changer that the industry needs, and it’s hopefully the first of many blockbusters in 2019. Most of these expected blockbusters are from Disney, too, proof that the brand appeals to both mature and young audiences.
In China where Endgame first opened on Wednesday before its worldwide release, it has reportedly grossed around $107.2 million. In comparison, Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed $119.1 million on its opening day but the ticket sales came from the United States and Canada theaters.
Closer to home, the Infinity War debuted with $257.7 million in the domestic market and $640.5 million worldwide. In fact, it’s considered as the current opening weekend record.
But these records will likely be broken once the dust clears for Avengers: Endgame! Keep in mind that Infinity War only debuted in China two weeks after it was released worldwide. Endgame, on the other hand, will be opening worldwide nearly simultaneously except in Russia.
Industry analysts are even going as far as speculating that Endgame will hit $300 million in domestic sales – the Holy Grail, if you will – and get $1 billion worldwide in weekend sale.
With positive reviews, particularly on Rotten Tomatoes where it garnered a 97% rating, its dominance is assured. The rating, which is based on 214 reviews so far, is among the best rating for Marvel movies and it’s definitely boosting box office performance. Even casual fans of the superhero franchise will likely see it just to see what the fuss is all about and, if the reviews are anything to go by, then be happy for doing so.
Endgame was filmed back-to-back with Infinity War by the Russo brothers who certainly know their audience and, thus, build the tension. There’s also the nostalgia factor coming into the picture – Endgame isn’t just a direct sequel to Infinity War but it’s also the final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Iron Man, released in 2008, started the show and also established Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios as the best in what they do.
The critics’ reviews are a mixed bag but it must also be emphasized that while their opinions have relative value among the general public, it’s still the movie-going public’s opinions that matter. They, after all, pay to see the movie and with a movie as long as three hours, Endgame better be worth the time and money.
Angie Han (Mashable) said that for audience to appreciate its magic, there should “some prior buy-in” so as to keep track of the “tangle of characters and relationships and mythologies”. But for the fans, there are plenty of reasons to “cheer, cry or swoon” and the audiences reacted loudly to the scenes.
Justin Chang (Los Angeles Times) wrote that the film “achieves and earns its climactic surge of feeling, even as it falls just short of real catharsis”.
Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian) said that Endgame is “entirely preposterous” and its central plot device isn’t new. But there’s something good to be said about the “sheer enjoyment and fun that it delivers” and he found the “pure exotic spectacle” irresistible. He added that the Avengers have been “unconquerable” as a form of entertainment.
A.O. Scott (The New York Times) wrote that the directors provided a “sense of ending, a chance to appreciate what has been done before the timelines reset and we all get back to work.” He added that the movie “gets to you” even as one didn’t expect it to.
But there are also less-than-satisfactory points raised about the movie. Critics say that it has a dubious logic evident in several points and a relatively messy plot.
But for moviegoers willing to overlook these (minor) flaws, the Endgame should be a great three hours spent in a dark theater.