The long-awaited "Avengers" finally assembled Thursday night at theaters throughout North America with one of the biggest midnight openings since "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2." We were on the scene in New York's Times Square, where fans dressed as Loki and the Hulk donned their RealD "Avengers" collector glasses and couldn't stop raving about Earth's mightiest heroes.
"I was really worried that it was gonna be just subpar, if not even at all good. But then I saw it. I just had to sit there for a minute and just take it in. It was amazing!" said Akil Vichus Davis, who was skeptical that director Joss Whedon could take on such a hefty project. But he was pleasantly surprised and said he's very happy with the outcome. "It was solid. It was good. The stories were good. They had great moments. The cinematography, the directing, it was off the chain. It was good."
Marvel fan Justin Silver agreed, saying, "My mind was just blown. I was just like, 'Oh my God!' It was crazy. It was unbelievable!"
The ensemble cast includes Marvel newcomer Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk and many actors reprising their roles, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Evans, who plays Captain America. Anand Kodamanchili was thrilled with how much the legendary First Avenger was featured in the film. "I'm a huge fan of Captain America, and just watching him kick some serious ass again, again and again was pretty awesome," he gushed.
With its earlier overseas release, "The Avengers" has raked in more than $300 million internationally so far, according to Deadline Hollywood. When box-office expert Jeff Bock said, "This isn't just a movie, it's an event," he wasn't kidding. AMC Theaters held the daylong "Ultimate Marvel Marathon," screening "Iron Man," "The Incredible Hulk," "Iron Man 2," "Thor" and "Captain America" back-to-back leading up to the "Avengers" midnight release. The screenings sold out in numerous major theaters in North America more than a month ago.
Deadline also reports that the film grossed a total of $281.1 million through its first eight days overseas and is slated to hit over $160 million in the U.S. through Sunday. With a rise in ticket prices, especially 3-D and IMAX, there's a strong chance it could top the current record, held by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," of $169.2 million. If you include the opening weekend in Russia and China, the film could potentially make close to $585 million worldwide through Sunday. A studio mogul told Deadline, "It's tracking off the charts. Biggest in every category and with everyone — men, women, young, old. Any way you slice and dice it. It's just a mega-movie."
So what's the secret? We certainly noticed a mix of men and women at the premiere release last night. Moviegoer Kelly Burbrink enjoyed the comedic parts of the film. "[I] absolutely loved the one-liners of the humor," she said. "They were fantastic and I'm sure we missed a bunch because everyone was just dying laughing after them that you couldn't hear what came right after. They were just hysterical."
There's something in it for everyone. Action, comedy, an insanely attractive cast — and when you mix that with the directing talents of Joss Whedon, it's no wonder fan Nicole DeBonis screams, "Oh my gosh! No words can describe it."
Daniel Vives agrees and highly recommends the film for all audiences, saying, "Joss Whedon did an excellent job with directing and writing the movie. Everyone needs to go see this movie."
"The Avengers" is currently in theaters nationwide.
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