Yesterday, Marvel Studios suddenly revealed that the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War would have an earlier release date in North America than originally intended. Both of the previous Avengers movies had early May releases, but Infinity War will buck that trend by releasing on April 27, around the world.
In North America, filmgoers have always had to avoid spoilers for a full week, since the films tend to release earlier in the UK. However, the release date switch wasn't just well received by fans for the same day release; many pointed out how it was a sign of Marvel Studios' current power. The studio has always had a tendency to dominate whatever month they stake their claim in, but has never released a film earlier than intended. In fact, to the chagrin of many, Marvel has delayed films in the past: Thor Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel have all been pushed back, so this is a more than welcome change.
But best of all, the announcement was presented in the silliest and best of ways. There was no grandiose trailer or new poster that revealed the changed date. It just came from a Twitter conversation involving Robert Downey Jr. and the Marvel Studios account.
Marvel's next film is destined to be a more serious story than most of its previous releases, and the marketing has reflected that. The somber version of the Avengers theme playing over various actors reciting Nick Fury's short, but iconic speech about the titular heroes from the first film made it clear -- this is a big movie with bigger stakes. Last month's Super Bowl ad gave us the thundering statement of "An entire universe. Once and for all," with Tony Stark not so subtly declaring, "It's all been leading to this." The 30-second commercial isn't subtle in what it's representing, and it's a given that Marvel will be beating that drum for the next month and a half until the film releases. It's all the more refreshing, then, to see the marketing team have fun with this announcement.
On some level, it's hard to deny that Infinity War is nothing but a 2+ hour, $200 million victory lap, not unlike the original Avengers film was in 2012. It would be hard to fault anyone for believing that this was all a tad arrogant or insufferable, but at the same time, why shouldn't Marvel Studios be celebrating? It's hit every goal it's wanted to hit, with not a single concrete failure to date. Through ten years and nearly two dozen movies, Marvel has cemented itself as the cinematic universe to beat, and none of its imitators -- the DCEU, Sony's Amazing Spider-Man Cinematic Universe, Universal's Dark Universe, Paramount's Transformers Universe, Saban's Power Rangers Universe -- have come close to touching it. Whatever criticisms can be lobbed at the Marvel film franchise (and there are many ), it cannot be denied that a massive film like Infinity War is something that it's largely earned the right to do.
The initial reveal of Infinity War in 2015 was met with widespread applause from the audience after seeing Thanos wield the Infinity Gauntlet for the first time. Since then, fans across the globe have been champing at the bit, eager to finally see the mad titan lock up with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and thanks to Marvel's latest piece of marketing genius, this time, we'll all be able to experience it together.