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At the April 22 “Avengers: Endgame” premiere at the massive Los Angeles Convention Center, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger stood in front of a 70-foot screen and before 2,000 people wedged into narrow stadium seats as he announced that they were here to celebrate the finale of the “Avengers” branch of the MCU universe. Not that anyone needed the reminder: “Avengers” fever has captured the internet, the media, and every imaginable marketing platform. However, he may as well have been cueing the audience to notice something even larger than the Marvel superheroes: This premiere represented not only the state of its studio, but of the industry itself.
It’s more than a blockbuster; it represents the possibility, and the paradigm, of a billion-dollar opening weekend. It comes at a time when the box office is struggling from week to week, but begs the question of whether a success of this size is good for the long-term health of exhibition as well as the film industry itself. And it’s produced by a conglomerate that not only dwarfs all other distributors at the box office but represents no less than a half-dozen major film studios, of which Marvel is only one.
Avengers - Endgame - Screening - Culmination - Decade
But first, “Avengers: Endgame.” After a three-hour screening that represented the culmination of a decade of movies launched by Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” back in 2008, star Robert Downey, Jr. and the rest of the “Avengers” cast assembled on the stage. “The sheer number of people who contributed to this event is impossible to evaluate or understand,” said directors Joe and Anthony Russo before turning the mic over to the six original Avengers.
Read: “Avengers: Endgame” World Premiere Red Carpet Gallery.
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