Avengers: Infinity War will have its red carpet premiere on Monday, April 23 in Hollywood. The premiere date is a departure from the usual rollout of Marvel Studios films. It suggests that Disney may be employing a strategy similar to what they have used for Star Wars since the franchise returned with The Force Awakens in 2015.
Robert Downey, Jr. announced the April 23 premiere date on his Instagram. He was offering charitable fans a chance to win a pair of tickets. This puts the premiere just a few days before the film is released everywhere on April 27, but really April 26 when you count Thursday showings. This is a break from the norm for Marvel movies.
Marvel Studios movies often have their junkets and premieres weeks before the domestic release date. If the premiere is on April 23, we can guess that the junket will be around the same time, as it’s easier to plan all the stars being in town once instead of twice.
Some may point to this as Marvel and Disney being less confident in Infinity War, but I don’t believe that’s the case because this is what Disney has been doing for years with Star Wars. It has nothing to do with confidence and everything to do with minimizing the chance of spoilers getting out.
All three junkets for Star Wars films since the franchise returned have been held before the press even saw the movie. That really isn’t as big of a problem as it may sound, as interviewers and press conference attendees generally don’t ask spoiler questions anyway. Even when journalists have seen the film, as they usually have at Marvel junkets, they ask questions that are the same as or similar to what they would have asked before seeing it.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens held its premiere the Monday before the film was released, just like we’re seeing with Avengers: Infinity War. The premieres for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Last Jedi were held the Saturday before those films were released. In all three cases, the press screenings (for journalists who did not attend the premiere) were held in the days that followed.
Again, I don’t see any of this as a method of delaying reviews. That hasn’t been the motive for Star Wars and it’s not the motive here. Clearly, Disney and Marvel Studios are doing all they can to prevent spoilers from getting out. I’m sure that was a huge factor in the decision to move the domestic release date up from May 4 and April 27 so that the movie would be out everywhere in the world on the same day.
We know what’s at stake in Avengers: Infinity War. Big things are going to happen and that could include the death(s) of big name characters. Audiences should be afforded the opportunity to see the events unfold with no idea of what’s coming. This strategy has provided that opportunity for Star Wars fans, so it’s wise to give Marvel Cinematic Universe fans the same chance.
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