The Cultural Impact of Avengers Endgame
In 2008, a comic book superhero found its way onto movie screens across the world as Marvel Studios released Iron Man. Now, 11 years and 22 movies later, Marvel Studios released Avengers Endgame, which quickly became the second highest grossing movie of all time, the highest being James Cameron’s Avatar in 2009. However, its rating shows it's not even the second best movie of all time. I never understood why people were going crazy for the movie that objectively wasn’t the best. Going into the movie, I expected to be let down. There was no way one movie could generate all of this excitement. I walked in the AMC Theatre with a small popcorn and overpriced ticket, full of angst and doubt. Needless to say, I walked out in complete awe, wondering how one movie made me cry three times.
Social media, the news, and conversations have been filled with discussions of Avengers Endgame even before the movie was released. The directors of the movie started off the excitement with something a little odd; an Instagram post, pleading fans and critics alike to try their hardest to not spoil the movie for anyone else. All of a sudden, the world knew they were serious. Whatever was about to happen in this movie was some serious stuff. As soon as the movie came out, fans went absolutely crazy. I’ve never seen all of social media talk about one single thing so much. For many weeks, all of my peers were raving about how good the movie was. Tickets were sold out for weeks.
It took me three weeks to finally cave and watch the movie. See, I used to be a very big fan of Marvel Movies. I remember when the first Avengers movie came out in 2011, and how I dragged my Dad to the movies to watch it. As I got older and the Marvel Cinematic Universe pumped out more movies, however, the magic spell of the movies slowly wore off. The cynic in me believed that each Marvel Movie was the same plot. Dude gets powers/magic weapon/money, bad guy comes out of nowhere, dude beats bad guy. But after seeing that Avengers Endgame made more money than any other movie in its opening week blew me away. I sat down on a lazy Sunday and started to pick up where I left off on the list of Marvel Movies. I finally understood the Infinity War references, even though I was a whole year late.
On the day I watched the movie, I wasn’t excited. In fact, I felt like I was doing homework, as I needed to watch the movie for this piece. But once the movie started, I noticed how I got excited every time I saw a character I liked pop up on the screen. My mood shifted drastically, from doubt to pure excitement. Sure, it was that same plot that every superhero had, but this time, time played a role. Each superhero wasn’t just another character, it was a whole story that had a three-hour movie attached to them. I realized the key behind Endgame’s success.
It doesn’t matter how good the movies are; if you make 22 movies in a series, everyone is going to watch the last one. I sat there, watching the most important build up in the history of cinema, thinking about the millions of hours and billions of dollars that have been poured into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I again reminisce about that time I watched the first Avengers game with my father. I thought about how the entire day; where we ate, what we talked about, how revolutionary the movie was, how we bonded.
There was one point in the movie, towards its end, that truly broke me. At one point, every good guy from all the Marvel movies comes together to beat the evilest villain of any movie. Seeing those thousands of people come together made me cry harder than any movie ever has. I didn’t care about the fictional characters with the fictional superpowers.
If I remembered that one night with my dad from eight years ago because of a movie, what's stopping the rest of the world from sharing the same feeling. Eleven years is a long time, and these movies have acted as tie between them. I truly believe when I’m old and wrinkly, I will look back at the 2010s and think about how everyone cared about these silly movies. Sure, the plot is a little recycled. To see the entire world come together and watch the same three-hour movie that I watched, bought back the magical spell the Marvel Movies once had on me when I was younger.