LYNNWOOD — Thanos’ snap of his bejeweled digits dusted half of the universe’s population, and moviegoers can hardly wait to see how the remnant superheroes recover and fight back in “Avengers: Endgame.”
It’s been a decade of Marvel Comics characters dominating the box office and popular culture. The latest movie featuring Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor (and many, many other characters) picks up with the heroes defeated, in disarray and ready to … avenge.
Despite the steady stream of movies and television shows, the appetite appears to be insatiate. On its opening day overseas, “Endgame” set a record in China and was reportedly on pace to earn over $100 million.
Ticket presales went gangbusters for theater chains. That was true for some of Snohomish County’s cineplexes. Large crowds were expected for the movie’s opening weekend, with at least one event for fans, some of them sure to come in costume or sporting a shirt for their favorite hero. That included a special hour-early screening and collectible giveaways.
Every theater in the county, even the single-screen Edmonds Theater, will show the movie this weekend.
The Regal Everett Mall 16 dedicated nine of 16 screens to “Endgame” this weekend. That high capacity is likely to continue in the weeks ahead.
“We’re pretty busy,” theater assistant manager Taylor Owen said.
One Friday afternoon showing on the RPX screen, Regal’s proprietary big screen akin to IMAX, was close to full. It has the most seats at 378, of which more than 260 tickets were already sold by Wednesday, he said.
For anyone looking to get a ticket, Owen recommended ordering online through the Regal website, www.regmovies.com, or through Fandango, both of which offer reserved seating.
“A lot of (the showings) are pretty close, but once we get to the day of, those are the shows that’ll start to fill up pretty quick,” he said.
At AMC Alderwood 16 in Lynnwood, nine of its screens are dedicated to showing the movie almost around the clock. On Thursday alone, the 22nd installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was shown 27 times, starting at 5 p.m., in four formats: Dolby Cinema, IMAX, 3D and regular digital 2D. The opening day’s final showtime is for 2:30 a.m. (in IMAX).
As of Thursday morning, 10 of AMC Alderwood’s screenings were listed as “almost full.” Anyone seeing those words when buying a seat through the AMC website should know it’s likely sold out, AMC director of corporate communications Ryan Noonan said.
Considering it’s a three-hour movie, that’s serious dedication to the exploits of the ever-virtuous Captain America, tragedy-befallen Thor, knowledge-burdened Iron Man and power-stripped Hulk.
The runtime has led to would-be moviegoers trying to discern when they can take a bathroom break. For anyone really invested in strategizing that, there’s an app for that, called RunPee.
Subspace Comics co-owner Amy Meredith will put work on hold to catch the show.
“It’s going to be a ghost town around here,” she said of the Lynnwood comic shop. “We’re closing early so I can go see it.”
In the run-up to the “Endgame,” Avengers fans haven’t been in a rush to get their hands on the latest issues, she said.
Everett Comics similarly isn’t expecting a rush on the latest “Avengers” titles.
“The last time there was a big one like that, it was the ’89 Batman movie,” manager Brandon Ottenberg said.
Part of the issue may be with the release date, he said. Some previous big Marvel movies came out the first weekend in May to tie in with Free Comic Book Day.
While people aren’t clearing out the comic book stores, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a juggernaut, both financially and culturally.
And just like that, with a snap of their decade-in-the-making, hundreds-of-billions-of-dollars fingers, Disney’s Marvel movies keep people engaged.