“Avengers: Endgame” Shatters Box Office Records


The epic conclusion to Marvel’s ten-years-in-the-making cinematic saga

Twenty-two movies and 11 years down the line from the May 2 release of “Iron Man”, Marvel celebrates a whopping $1.2 billion global opening weekend for its final entry to its first wave of feature films, “Avengers: Endgame”. Nearly doubling the previous record of $640 million set by “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Endgame”’s opening weekend is bigger than the conclusions of “Deathly Hallows”, “Mockingjay”, and “Breaking Dawn” combined.

The film’s release was highly anticipated, with floodgates of fans selling out thousands of theaters across the United States within seven days. Some super fans spent as much as $500 on eBay for a chance to see the film after tickets dissipated in their localities. Being the largest cinematic opening in U.S. and Canadian history, screening in 4,662 venues, it’s a wonder to theater experts that the tickets were so coveted.

While the theater community is incredulous, many “Endgame” viewers find its massive success self-evident. Critic Matthew Norman of the London Evening Standard stated that the movie’s only flaw is that it “raises the bar so high that there may well never be a superhero movie to match it”. Some audience reviewers have called it “an emotional journey that doesn’t waste a minute”, “a true Tour de France of a finale”, and “a three hour comic book epic that is never boring”.

Not everyone smiles so brightly on the film, however. Running at 182 minutes, and converging the stories of every Marvel movie before it, “Endgame” has been criticized for reaching too far for the sake of fan appeasement. The motivations of the characters have been called confused or unconvincing, and the plot machinations used to build to the film’s conclusion have been accused of weakness. Its lengthiness has been criticized for padding an unsatisfactory conclusion to more than a decade’s worth of work.

Fans of the film, however, deny these claims. While long, “Endgame” achieves the seemingly impossible task of featuring three dozen beloved characters fluidly and entertainingly. For all those who have invested their time and money in it, the conclusion of the Avengers’ saga is heartfelt and monumental.

Following the excruciating cliffhanger in “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Endgame” perpetuates the previous installment’s idea that even the best of us can fail, while proving that failure never needs to be the final chapter. All the Marvel heroes the new generation grew up with put up one final, inspirational effort in the face of impossibility. For the original six Avengers, this movie is a compelling conclusion.

Of Endgame, Marvel President Kevin Feige said, “People would point out that that Cap wasn’t in ‘Infinity War’ a whole lot. And Iron Man didn’t really speak for that last half hour because of what was going on. But those characters, and all of the original six, are very much the focus of ‘Endgame’ in a very personal and emotional way.”

The final movie in Marvel’s phase three, according to Feige, will be “Spider Man: Far From Home”, to be released July 2. After that, the MCU will be ushering in a new generation of characters, who Disney CEO Bob Iger describes as “superheroes for a new era, greatly expanding their relevance across gender, generation and geography”. This is good news for fans of “Black Panther” and “Captain Marvel”, which were the first of their kind in Disney’s new era.