WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo spent the final month leading up to the release of Avengers: Infinity War pleading with fans who would get an early glimpse of the movie not to spoil it for others. And yet, the trailers and television spots did just that. What should have been a huge shock for fans had already been revealed by Gamora's line, "The entire time I knew him, he only ever had one goal. To wipe out half the universe. If he gets all the Infinity Stones, he can do it with the snap of his fingers."
This trailer was then followed up by a television spot which saw the Mad Titan literally snapping his fingers (albeit without the Gauntlet). So, does the marketing's willingness to spoil the big moment take away from its overall impact? Well, not necessarily.
Marvel Studios had done its best to prepare fans for what has been billed as the culmination of everything before it -- the "end" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. So while the decision to tease Thanos' final act in the marketing is surprising, it's also understandable why the decision was made to tease the snap felt around the world. While the move hails from the pages of the Infinity Gauntlet crossover in the comics, it's safe to say many fans never expected Marvel Studios to actually wipe out half of sentient life in the universe -- including a good amount of our heroes -- in the last moments of the film.
It was a bold act, and backed up everything Marvel has been teasing for the past couple of years. In fact, back in 2017, before production officially kicked off on Infinity War, co-director Joe Russo assured fans that they believed in stakes. “I believe that everything has to have an end at some point in order for it to have value. The audience should be prepared.”
Was the audience prepared? No. And that's exactly why Thanos' action made as much of an impact as it did.