You know, it’s kinda funny: I keep hearing and reading that a lot of people in Hollywood are shocked and surprised at how successful Avengers: Endgame has been for Disney and Marvel. That they didn’t see how this film was going to be such a blockbuster hit for the studio. Even a week after Endgame opened with the biggest opening weekend of all-time at $1.2 billion, as the film moved on to its second weekend and ended up with $2.2 billion – making it the $2 billion club faster than any other film ever and overtaking James Cameron’s Titanic as the second highest grossing film of all-time – people in Hollywood are still in shock with how successful Endgame has been. And I am sitting here, laughing, because any comic book movie fan, especially the Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, could have easily told you, quite loudly and boldly, that Endgame was going to more than a huge hit – it was going to be a benchmark for Hollywood moving forward from here on out. And it’s mainly because that Marvel has rewarded the loyalty of its fans with a shared universe that caters directly to them as well as the general moviegoing audience.
Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of an 11-year, 22-film journey that made strong connections between each and every film in the MCU and catered to the fans of the comics the characters were adapted from while trying new things that would appeal to the general movie fan – especially early on in the MCU where new viewers weren’t as familiar with the stories and characters as traditional fans were. Writers and directors of MCU films, under the watchful eye of Marvel producer Kevin Feige, have changed what they can in terms of stories and characters to make the films of the MCU with as much mass appeal as possible but making sure that the changes would still make sense to the comic fans who knew almost everything about the original source material. Almost every film in the MCU was full of fan service… but for the most of loyal fans, Endgame has the most fan service of all the films in the franchise.
Oh, Endgame is certainly accessible to moviegoers who have only seen a handful of MCU films or have never seen an MCU film at all, but for those fans who were fans of the comics, who have seen each and every film in the MCU franchise, and can remember even the smallest details of each film, Endgame is full of Easter eggs for those fans and is an endearing nod from Marvel to the fans who have stuck with them on this 11-year journey. No film franchise in the history of Hollywood has been this tightly connected as the films of the MCU – and the most loyal of all fans can spot most if not all of the Easter eggs that have been hidden in the film, making their loyal patronage for the long period something worth being proud of. Yes, there is a certain bit of pride to be found in being a hardcore film nerd. Having seen Endgame a handful of times now and being quite confident that I have found every Easter egg possible, I am pretty happy with myself and my extensive knowledge of both Marvel Comics and the MCU. And its fans like me who have made Endgame the success that it is.
Fans like me are not surprised at the enormity of the success that Avengers: Endgame has acquired. Endgame is the perfect ending for a journey that we all jumped on all those many years ago. From the moment that Tony Stark appeared on screen in the ambush attack that would lead to him needing to don the suit of armor in Iron Man to the defeated Avengers and their remaining allies pondering their failure to stop Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame has references and nods to each and every film in the MCU. And fans who know how important that a tight and connective story is to building a shared universe, whether it be in comics or in film, know that this is a huge draw to the MCU for fans. Fans love it when a character is portrayed consistently from film to film, that a story carries on progressively and naturally from film to film, and that a character’s story arc allows them to grow organically and in a satisfactory manner befitting their superhero stature… and the MCU has presented this en masse with their films. So, for us fans, there was no doubt that Endgame would be a huge financial success.
There was no doubt that Endgame would be a blockbuster without equal in the history of Hollywood filmmaking. There was no doubt that Endgame would be a cultural sensation in as a quickly a manner as it has become. We’ve paid attention to everything that the MCU has done, and, in turn, Marvel has paid attention to us and has delivered as much as possible to make these 22 films as entertaining as they have been. It was only right for us to return the favor and show Marvel and Hollywood just what our loyalty means, and what it can be worth to studios who pay attention to their fans and reward them, even in the smallest ways – make the journey together feel worthy and exciting and we will reciprocate in kind the best way we know how: by buying into your product wholeheartedly. I mean, for the MCU, we’ve rewarded them with over $2 billion in just two weeks. Maybe the rest of Hollywood will start paying attention now and realize that if they had, they wouldn’t be as shocked as they are at the success of Endgame. Because everyone that I know and have talked to about Endgame certainly isn’t surprised at this at all.