‘Whatever it takes’ for Avengers fans

Prajakta Joshi
Friday, 26 April 2019

Endgame releases today with shows lined up at 1.30, 3 and 5.30 am!

PUNE: The fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are ready to do ‘Whatever it takes’ for watching the Avengers: Endgame, that releases worldwide on Friday. 

If you open BookMyShow, a popular booking portal in India, you will see a number of shows of Endgame, lined up one after the other like never before. Despite the huge number of shows throughout the day, the multiplexes have also arranged for shows at 1.30 am, 3 am, etc., as well as early morning from 5.30 am. Even these shows are being booked fast by the fans in the city. The portal crashed the day the advance booking for the film began a few days ago.

“It was a fight to book the tickets for the first couple of days of the release. The advance booking opened at midnight, and within an hour, 80 per cent of the seats for the first two days were booked. I took the day off from work on Friday, because I had to watch the film in the morning at any cost,” said fan and government employee Niranjan Vadul.

He fondly calls himself Star-Lord (name of a superhero in the franchise) on social media.

“As anticipated, across the country, the shows of Avengers Endgame are almost sold out in a very short time and weekday advances are also selling out fast,”  Inox Leisure Ltd CEO Alok Tandon said.

He said the sales have already exceeded the first day footfalls of Avengers Infinity Wars (the predecessor of Endgame that also received a huge response).

“We will be utilising more than 90 per cent of our screens over the weekend for Avengers Endgame. The early morning and late night shows are also seeing the same amount of response,” Tandon added.

The costs of the shows have skyrocketed, yet the fans have booked more than once, to watch the film several times. While the rates of the regular tickets are over Rs 400, those for IMAX 4D are around Rs 1,000.

Cinépolis opened advances on April 20 and an unprecedented number of tickets were sold on day one.  “We have witnessed a record of one ticket being sold every second in the last four days. Almost 90% tickets have been sold online and we expect to serve around 15 lakh customers in the first week itself. Given the popularity of the franchise and hype around the movie, it is expected to break many box-office records,” said Cinèpolis India Director - Strategic Initiatives Devang Sampat.

“This is the last film for many of the characters involved. Their stories and character arcs are such that the fans have been emotionally involved in those for the past 10 to 11 years. That is why this film is surrounded by such a huge hype and craze all over the world,” researcher and fan Jagdish Thosar said. 

While Internet and social media pave the way for too many spoilers in this day and age, many fans are making it a point to watch the film in the first couple of days itself.

Marketing professional Sneha Mule, who had booked tickets for the 6.45 am show on Friday, said, “I could not take the day off at office because of an important meeting. In the evening, I was going to attend a party, where I knew for sure that everybody would be talking about Endgame. I did not want any spoilers at any cost.”

While the popularity of the film transcends age-groups, apart from the amazing technology, it’s the theme that attracts the fans and keeps them hooked, ‘Star-Lord’ said.

“It’s amazing how MCU has built up to the Avengers Endgame for the past 10 years through over 20 films. It has more than 20 Superheroes. Even though the concept of Superheroes is fictional, the ideology behind it is very realistic. Superheros keep the hope, the faith in life alive. No matter what, they tell us that good will always overpower bad. I think the optimism is one of the reasons behind their popularity,” he added.

Along with arranging for the shows at odd hours, the cinema halls are using the hype to please their customers. “We have curated special food options around the Avengers theme, like Black Widow for our Masala Coke, Iron Man for our Nachos and Captain America for our caramel and cheese popcorn. We have also crafted a coffee-centric combo for our late night movie watchers,” Tandon said.

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