It’s always interesting when a movie sees a re-release in theaters. This is something that typically happens around award season for films that want to remind the academies of their existence. It happens more times then you think. A Star Is Born did a late push last year to try and regain steam after an early release. Deadpool 2 sort of did it with a repackaged PG-13 version of the movie, after it was released digitally and on Blu Ray, with the proceeds going to charity. Even Avatar, the highest grossing movie ever, saw itself with a re-release in theaters. It’s a common practice that serves many functions, even if that function is inflating an ego (*James Cameron*), but tends to happen when there’s some distance between the initial release date. That’s what makes it sort of special.
We all knew that Avengers Endgame was going to get a re-release in theaters. There have been talks of Marvel Studios wanting to push hard for Robert Downey Jr’s final performance as Tony Stark as well as possible Best Picture nominations. What we didn’t know was how soon this re-release would happen… that’s if you can even call it a re-release.
Kevin Feige announced yesterday that a new version of Endgame would be released next weekend (June 28th) that would include a tribute to Stan Lee, eight minutes of new footage, a post credit scene, and a deleted scene. Eight minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of footage for a movie that already clocks in at three hours, but with rumors of scenes of Tony seeing a grown-up version of Morgan Stark, played by Katherine Langford, in the Soul Stone after he wipes out Thanos’s forces, Marvel fans will be chomping at the bit for any new footage. Myself include.
But why now? By the time of this re-release, Endgame will have been in theaters for a little more than two months. As a matter of fact, there are still prime showings in most major theaters. A re-release sounds almost a little silly considering that. And while most re-releases target awards this one reeks of wanting to break box office records. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Endgame has shattered just about every box office record except one. The highest worldwide grossing box office still belongs to Avatar and with less than fifty million dollars separating the two films, you better believe that Disney wants that record. Adding new footage to Endgame seems like the right ploy to bring numbers up, but the timing seems all wrong. The summer box office, outside of Endgame, has been mostly disappointing but even with that in mind, this re-release of Endgame sandwiches itself between Toy Story 4 and Spider-Man Far From Home. Sure, next weekend will be quiet at the box office but will it be quiet enough to gain over fifty million dollars for a movie that still currently in theaters?
Disney could, of course, be banking on the trickledown effect, something they capitalized on with Captain Marvel still being in theaters when Endgame was released. “Oh, Endgame is sold out? Guess I’ll see Captain Marvel again.” If you recall the box office that weekend had Endgame one and Captain Marvel two. Perhaps Disney is hoping enough Far From Home showings sell out forcing viewers to revisit Endgame. It’s certainly possible. Far From Home will be the first MCU movie in a post-Tony Stark world and will be setting up Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If rumblings from overseas are to be believed the two post credit scenes are going to completely change the game for Marvel. I expect viewings to be selling out all over the place and once word of mouth starts to spread, Far From Home could have a nice little run at the box office.
Which leaves Endgame with a two-week window to break the record set by the version of Dance With Wolves starring large blue aliens. I for one want to see the record fall. Not just because I love Endgame so much but because I’ve never understood the hype behind Avatar. It came in at the height of 3D craze but was overly long, bloated, and a re-hashing of a movie I had already seen and not particularly liked. James Cameron’s comments about superhero movies don’t help his cause as many Marvel fans have rallied to try and take the movie down. Comic fans are not the group you want to piss off James.
Also, re-releasing the film now kind of negates the purpose of doing it during award season. I believe Robert Downey Jr. gave one of his best Tony Stark performances here and took ten years of the character and portrayed them brilliantly. He deserves to be recognized for his accomplishment and in a lot of ways that recognition could give credence to the entire superhero/comic movie movement. Black Panther’s nomination was a huge step and a Downey Oscar nomination could show people like James Cameron that these movies aren’t going anywhere. That they’re evolving while still telling stories filled with heart and rich character.
At the end of the day though, I just want to see Endgame again. I’ve been saying that for a couple of weeks now and this re-release gives me one more opportunity before I own it and watch it on the constant. Eight minutes may not be a ton of footage but it’s enough to have me curious about what could possibly be added. There’s a chance that all this new footage amounts to nothing new, I don’t expect it to change the outcome of the movie or make me feel differently, but I just want to see what else there could have been. Tony and Morgan Stark? Expanded battle scenes? A new joke from Rocket? Captain America returning the Stones (not likely)?! I’ll fork over the money to find out and maybe help take down a box office record in doing so.
How about you Geeklings, will you be running to the theaters next weekend to catch a glimpse of this new footage or are you just going to wait for the digital/Blu Ray release? Be sure to sound off in the comments or throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32.