It’s safe to read this article because there are no references to anything that happens in the actual movie. Nonetheless, the experience of seeing this incredible movie on opening night will stay with me for many years to come. There have been few movies that have been as highly anticipated as Avengers Endgame. The ones that come to mind were the ones in which there had been a long delay in releasing a sequel in a storied franchise. The return of Star Wars in 1999 with Episode I: The Phantom Menace, The Force Awakens in 2015 and the long awaited sequel to the Godfather series with the Godfather III in 1990. Compared to the long wait for those films Avengers Endgame did not make fans wait that long. However the ending of Avengers Infinity Wars still made the wait for Endgame seem like twenty one years instead of just one.
Demand for tickets to see Avengers Endgame was astronomical. It was like trying to get Yankees Red Sox playoff tickets. Most theaters sold out within hours. Everyone loves Regal Cinemas because of the comfortable seats and ability to cherry pick your own individual seats. Those did not last very long. AMC quickly sold out within hours also. These were not just opening day and night tickets that were selling out, it was the entire weekend.
I watched my teenage son frantically trying to find tickets to opening night. It wasn’t that he wanted to see the movie before anyone else to claim any sort of bragging rights, he needed to see it before anyone else spoiled it for him. This was the main reason why just about everyone else needed to see the movie on opening night. No one wanted to know what was going to happen before they actually experienced it in real time sitting in front of that great silver screen. As social media has now engulfed our lives to the point of drowning in it, there would be no way of living on this planet past opening weekend of Avengers Endgame and not hearing about which Avengers live or die.
The Social Experience
My son’s incredible drive and focus to attain tickets to opening night proved successful. The both of us have been going to movies together since he was four. At the age of 17, he still enjoys going to the movies with me. I was ecstatic that he asked me to go with him to Endgame. We arrived at AMC Stony Brook about an hour before the movie was scheduled to start. We grabbed a quick slice of pizza at Caffe Amici. The place was incredibly mobbed. At about 6:15 we entered the theater. Not one person was online at the ticket booths. There was no reason to be online. The movie had long sold out. Everyone had their tickets on their phone or home printed paper. Just about every screen at AMC 17 was showing Avengers Endgame. There was only one other film showing at the theater besides Avengers Endgame.
The theater lobby was packed with people. As one theater’s doors opened up to release an earlier showing, there was this incredible surge of hands to everyone’s ears. No one wanted to hear anyone discussing the movie as they exited the theater. This was the most dangerous moment for a fan base that was extremely dedicated on experiencing Avengers Endgame without any spoilers. As someone who enjoys going to comic cons like New York Comic Con, I understand this fan base. These are serious fans who really live for these movies. It was a tense moment when the theater was mingled with fans entering and leaving.
Even though there were no lines at the ticket booth, there were long lines to enter the individual theaters. It takes a little longer for a ticket taker to scan a phone than it does to just accept a ticket by hand. The lines were long and not moving that well. Forget the food lines, they were insane. With the notion that finding a seat in a theater in AMC is based on arrival time as opposed to reservation like Regal cinemas, I began to grow a bit nervous. Eventually we got past the ticket taker.
We walked into our theater and were greeted by a room that was already almost entirely full. It was still 30 minutes before the movie was about to begin and yet the theatre was almost full. If we had not arrived early we would have been stuck in the front row. I will never understand how theaters will place a row of seats almost touching the front screen. But they do, and people will sit in those seats no matter what.
The Movie – NO SPOILERS
There is no comparing the experience of watching a Marvel Movie in the theater with watching it at home. The movie theater experience will win every time for even the most basic movies. However, a Marvel Movie just explodes on the screen in front of you within the greatest dynamic realms. It sucks you into the story leaving you breathless. However so much of that excitement depends on the thrill of the unknown. There is nothing like experiencing that with the most hard core movie fans on the planet. Every dramatic moment is met with loud gasps, every twist, every turn, every single glorious moment of film is felt together as an audience of one. It is the one place where we can all come together and experience the best of humanity in its most entertaining non political aspects. It was a moment and a night not to be forgotten. There was a great sense of community that I felt proud to be a part off. The night and the film lived up to its hype and more. If you ever get the chance to experience an opening night for a movie as big as Avengers, it’s worth every penny.