Avengers:Endgame comes out this week and as expected, early ticket sales are breaking records as the world runs to the theaters to see how last summer’s Infinity War cliffhanger concludes.
The build-up is something special, waiting for a beautifully crafted story spanning back over a decade to conclude in a final three hour film that is being complimented as one of the most ambitious entertainment projects ever.
For myself, and many fans from Generation X, this might be the last time we’re this excited about a movie theater experience of this kind.
The Star Wars saga has worn it self down. The Millennials have Harry Potter and his story has been over for a decade. The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit saga stretched itself to six films and countless other book and video game adaptations have failed.
The DC Universe is trying to get back on track with Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Shazam having proven they are capable of putting out a decent product, but it’s not nearly as effective story telling that we’ve seen from Marvel.
There will be more Marvel movies, three weeks after Endgame, we’re getting another X-Men movie (and the FOX buy will yield another reboot) and later this summer, Spiderman is returning. The Disney Plus streaming service will launch later this year will offer two more Avengers television spinoffs and an animated series.
I really like this series. When I was a kid, we never thought we’d see these incredible stories on the big screen, but there will eventually be diminished returns.
And then there is the home experience and technology. I like watching things at my house on a comfortable chair with my refrigerator a few steps away, and I like watching those things on demand. We’ve watched the movie theater experience become more expensive, while our televisions at home become bigger and more capable. It takes a well crafted story with a hefty special effects budget to pull people out of their homes.
When I was younger the most highly anticipated movie to we stood in line for without a dedicated following was Independence Day. It relied on high end special effects, a young Will Smith, who was exiting his “Fresh Prince” phase and had demonstrated he was box office bank with “Bad Boys”. The plot of “ID4”? An alien invasion and that was about all we knew.
We could see something else drop out of the sky, but Hollywood doesn’t have the patience we’ve seen with the Marvel Universe. There are other non-superhero properties and stories that could reel us in, but will they capture this kind of anticipation? Probably not.
From now on the only time you’ll see Generation X standing in line for a movie is when their standing in that line with their kids and they forgot to order the tickets in advance. We’re just too busy otherwise.
But this week is for us and it’s possibly for the last time. Enjoy it.