When fans realize that Avengers: Endgame came out two years ago, they do a double-take, at least partly because the pandemic has warped our sense of time.
The film was the last Disney/Marvel movie to hit theaters, (not counting Sony’s Spider-Man: Far from Home postscript) and that two years feels like an eternity to a lot of people.
That’s why, even now, fans still fill Internet forums with memories of the movie, whether they’re specifically reliving the return of the heroes or generally lamenting the inability to gather in large numbers to celebrate what they love. The good news is, those moments will be coming back, although long term, no one outside of Disney seems to know what form that will take.
What records did ‘Avengers: Endgame’ set?
It was a foregone conclusion that Endgame would be an enormous hit long before it opened in April 2019. That conclusion is foregone with most Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. However, Endgame’s opening surprised even seasoned box office watchers. In the United States, it opened with $357 million in the first weekend alone, according to The Numbers. That’s more than many hit movies gross in their entire runs.
When the dust finally settled, Endgame grossed $858 million in the US and $1.9 billion worldwide. That was good enough for number two in the US, behind The Force Awakens’ $937 million and number one worldwide, although it was eventually overtaken by Avatar, thanks to a Chinese re-release.
What makes these numbers all the more significant is that in a world changed by COVID-19, we may never see box office numbers like these again, as windows between theatrical releases and home viewing continue to shrink. A year ago, Indiewire wrote, “When we slowly emerge from the pandemic, it will not be business as usual. There will be fewer — and emptier — theaters. Even for Marvel tentpoles.”
How do fans remember ‘Endgame’ now?
Given that Marvel Studios was releasing three films a year at its peak, the two years since Endgame feels like an eternity to many fans. Now they wistfully post on Reddit reminiscing about the days when Endgame dominated pop culture attention. If anything, the movie seems more poignant now, since one cast member is no longer with us.
“Still get teary eyed during the portals scene, especially seeing Chadwick (Boseman) on screen.. the whole end of the movie really,” one fan wrote. Another fan chimed in about missing the theatrical experience, writing, “From time to time I watch those audience react movies on YouTube with all the pivotal scenes from Endgame. You know just to lift spirits.”
In another post just below that thread, one user posted a photo of the scene where a stricken Thor goes back in time and meets his mother, who asks him “The future hasn’t been kind to you, has it?” That fan wrote, “This scene always gets me. Lost my dad to cancer a few years ago and know this would be our conversation today. To those going through a tough time right now, never forget you’re still worthy.”
Is Marvel building up to new Avengers?
Marvel fans appetites have finally been sated by the Disney+ showsWandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, with Loki on deck in June. Even so, many still want to see the Avengers again in some way, either via a reconfigured lineup or an entirely new team such as the Young Avengers.
Is that what Marvel is building towards? It’s too early to tell for sure. Right now, Marvel seems most concerned with the post-blip lives of the survivors, or of introducing characters new to the movies, such as Shang Chi and the Eternals. Still, some fans think Marvel aims to stage another mega-crossover.
One fan optimistically wrote, “I can’t imagine an MCU film topping this level of emotional payoff until the Russos return for the multi-part Secret Wars films in another 5-8 years.”
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