Image courtesy of Marvel/Disney
Lifelong Fans Attend Bangor Mall Cinemas Screening of Infinity War
(Bangor, Maine) – If one were to ask a focus group what the most anticipated film of 2018 was, they’d be hard-pressed to find someone who did answer with Avengers: Infinity War, the culmination of Marvel’s 10-year plan. The film recently topped Fandango’s poll for the most anticipated blockbuster, alongside breaking it’s records for pre-sales on a superhero film and is quickly closing in the overall record held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. All in all, the film is tracking to make over $200 million on it’s opening weekend, making it the sixth film in cinematic history to do so.
Needless to say, it’s an immensely anticipated film, built by a decade of carefully cultivated planning to lead to a worldwide release of April 27th. But for a particularly dedicated group of fans, there’s the proud tradition of the late-night premiere. For fans in the Bangor area, that’s when you head to the Bangor Mall Cinemas, for one of it’s famed 7:00 PM screenings, the only difference being that this one was held at 9:00 instead. Some people dress up, some stores and vendors arrive early to set up booths one could buy merchandise from, and some just couldn’t stand the idea of waiting until opening day to see this film.
These were all in full display on Thursday night, with a trio of tables promoting artists, conventions, and collectibles set up around the lobby. There were people dressed primarily as Thor and Captain America, though a few women were dressed as Black Widow. People hung about, bought refreshments, and socialized while they waited for seating to start.
While seating at most premieres is traditionally “first-come-first-serve”, this one proved to be in such high-demand that online ticketing that reserved seats quickly sold out. By Monday the 23rd, the films non-3D screenings had sold out, with limited seats left in the 3D screenings. Of course, it was hard to tell that 3D was in less demand, as people squeezed in shoulder-to-shoulder in the predetermined seats (recently renovated to resemble more comfortable recliners) to fit properly. This left little room for devious tactics, as one young fan attempted to steal a center seat, only for the real owner to arrive just in time to claim it.
Once seated, everyone excitedly talked back and forth, expressing annoyance at the pre-show ads. (A man in the front row went as far as to deem the waiting music “garbage”, while another asked if the flickers of the screen was actually the projectionists struggling against an unknown assailant.) But when the trailers started, an excited hush wafted over the entire audience, a hush that lasted until the trailers ended and the opening Marvel crawl led in a chorus of cheers and clapping.
Film critic Adam Johnston once compared superhero films to professional wrestling, and it’s easy to see the comparison at a premiere. People clapped, cheered, gasped, laughed, and even cried at points. When the film’s credits rolled, there was a rare silence, as the audience attempted to process the film’s ending. Patrick Welch, a Husson student who has spoken to the Spectator before, mused that his “heart enjoyed that, but his brain needs time to process everything that just happened.” With a laugh, he remarked, “Maybe I need alcohol.” as he and his friends stood in the parking lot of the cinemas and speculated on where the franchise goes from here. After nearly an hour-long discussion, they went their separate ways, tired and emotionally drained.
Of course, Patrick and his friends will have a long time to speculate, as the as-of-now untitled sequel will not be released until May 3rd, 2019. But with Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel to fill the gap in-between, one can’t help but feel a Marvel film is never too far away.