And while we are on the topic of opening weekend movies, the fam went en masse to see Infinity War on opening night. There were a few highlights of the experience plus some insight into my two oldest children that I’d like to share.
First off, I’m not going to go into any real detail about the movie, so you are basically spoiler safe. At the same time, the movie’s been out like a month, so if you haven’t seen it yet, I find it hard to believe that it’s all that important to you. I’m not going to be as careful as I might have been if I had written it that week as I had planned.
First, the theater was packed – just like you’d expect for the first showing in town. Everyone was excited. My husband was running late so I went out to the ticket taker, gave him the ticket, and described my husband before heading back to the theater.
The trailers had already started so I carefully snuck back to my seat. Something was bothering me about the trailer though. It seemed to be staying on that scene too long – a crazy alien guy walking through a sea of dead and dying people, giving some grand speech.
I leaned over to Jane and asked, “What movie is this for?”
“This isn’t a trailer,” she responded. “There were no trailers. This is the movie.”
I was shocked! The whole reason I didn’t wait in the lobby for my husband was because I absolutely despise missing even the first minutes of a movie. But OK. That shock paled in comparison to the ones to come.
The crowd behaved just like you would expect an Opening Night crowd to behave. Lots of oohs and ahhs and cheering and shocked gasps and cries of horror and laughter and clapping. I was missing some of the dialogue because of it, but the energy was palpable and made it all worth it.
At one point, a bearded man dressed in all black came on the screen. The theater erupted in cheering. I was confused. I couldn’t think of who the person was. How could this nondescript person be this many people’s favorite? So, I leaned back over to Jane.
“Who is that?” I whispered.
She stared at me for a moment and then laughed. She got her brother’s attention. “Daryl! Daryl! Mom just asked who Captain America was!” He leaned over to stare at me incredulously before shaking his head and turning back to the movie.
As I’m sure practically everyone has heard, the ending was a shocker. Actually, multiple shockers. Shocker after shocker after shocker. I sat there kind of numb thinking, I can’t believe they are doing this to their fans. I mean, Marvel fans are so devoted!
People were exclaiming in dismay. I could hear people crying. My son – insight #1 – was laughing. He was looking around the theater with a certain amount of superiority on his face, laughing at everyone there. He’s jaded enough to know that the dead people weren’t going to stay dead.
As the credits rolled, a friend came down to sit next to me. We talked about the movie and the ending and watched the credits, anticipating, like everyone else, the end credit scene(s). Well, almost everyone else. I think 5-10 people got up and left at the end. Who does that? I mean, really. You came to Opening Night of a Marvel moving and you aren’t staying through the end? Are you that dense? Or were you that mad at the ending? It made no sense.
As we talked, we saw that the end of the credits were rolling toward the top. The excited chatter that had filled the theater as soon as the last scene ended died abruptly. You would have thought the audience was an orchestra and the conductor had just circled his arm to stop the music.
Everyone waited. Silently. The last words disappeared from the top of the screen. The screen was blank. The theater was deadly quiet. And then… more words appeared at the bottom and began to scroll up.
I chuckled. They really were messing with their fans. The friend and I began to theorize that they were actually going to stick it to everyone by going with no end credit scenes. In a Marvel movie. We were wrong – there was a scene, but that pregnant pause in the credits? I think that was my favorite part of the entire experience.
It was as we walked to the parking lot that I had insight #2 about my children. They were complaining – vociferously! – about the crowd.
“Why couldn’t they have been QUIET? Sheesh! I couldn’t even hear the characters talking!”
“I know! I kept missing stuff. OK. We get it. We don’t need you to clap when your favorite character comes on screen.” (I wondered if either noticed when I clapped enthusiastically for Black Panther).
“And that one girl? Did you hear her scream?!”
“Yeah. That was crazy. I mean, who even likes Ironman that much? Chill out – it’s just a movie!”
“Like remember when we went to Star Wars? And that text and the music started at the beginning? Everyone went wild. I just don’t get it. I wish they’d just shut up.”
“Um, guys,” I tried. “That’s the way opening night is. People get into it. That’s the whole reason for going. It’s an experience. It’s different than what you get any other night.”
“Well, I don’t like it.” The other one agreed.
“Then you need to not demand that we go on opening night – because that is always what you are going to get,” I said.
“No, I’m still going to go then. I just wish people would be quiet.”
Who knew my kids were such killjoys?