Weeks out from release and the excitement for Avengers: Endgame is reaching fever pitch.
Presale tickets were released at midnight last night and the Marvel blockbuster has already broken the Australian first-day presales record set by Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Avengers: Endgame has sold $3.8 million worth of presale tickets, ahead of The Force Awakens’ $2.8 million, which in turn surpassed previous record holder Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
To put that dollar figure into context, so far in 2019, only the top 15 of the 128 already-released movies have passed the $3.8 million box-office mark.
American presales were also in strong demand with reports of cinema websites crashing and audiences waiting in long digital queues.
The movie releases in cinemas on April 24.
The direct sequel to last year’s megahit, Avengers: Infinity War (which topped the 2018 local box office with $61.8 million in ticket sales), Avengers: Endgame is expected to be one of the biggest movie events of the year.
The culmination of 11 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Endgame will be the 22nd movie in the franchise, and it also marks the end of the MCU’s Phase Three.
Almost every Marvel superhero is expected to return for Endgame where surviving characters Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Rhodey (Don Cheadle), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Nebula (Karen Gillen), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Okoye (Danai Gurira) fight to reverse villain Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) actions that killed half the universe.
The team will be joined by Marvel newcomer Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) who was introduced in her own solo film last month. Captain Marvel has just passed $US1 billion at the global box office, including $34.9 million in Australia.
Avengers: Endgame is also widely expected to be the last Marvel movie for at least one of the “first wave” of superheroes, such as Iron Man or Captain America.
After a decade in the roles and with the actors’ contracts ending, it’s a logical endpoint for some of those older characters as Marvel Studio moves into a different phase, one that is speculated to be less connected and more focused on stand-alone or solo stories.
The only officially confirmed post-Avengers: Endgame Marvel project on the schedule is Spider-Man: Far From Home (a co-production between Marvel and Sony).
But a Black Widow movie is expected to start shooting in June, with Australian Cate Shortland attached as director. Today, Stranger Things’ David Harbour was added to the cast list — he joins Johansson and Florence Pugh.
Recently, Angelina Jolie has been tied to a role in The Eternals, while there are sequels to Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange in some stage of production.