The Impact of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ on the MCU

In Featured, Industry Insights, Tyler Carlos by Amanda Valdovinos

– By Tyler Carlos –

(Spoilers Below)

Well…that happened. And no, I am NOT UGLY CRYING! YOU’RE UGLY CRYING!

*Takes several days to collect oneself together*

All right. Well, unless you are blind and have been living under a rock on a different planet, you’ve probably seen that humanity has been truly blessed by the powers-that-be at Marvel Studios. Yes, after 10 years and 18 movies, Avengers: Infinity War has finally hit the big screen as the 19th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And boy, oh, boy, was it something to behold. Two hours and 29 minutes of non-stop action, laugh-out-loud comedy, and soul-crushing drama.

Just a fair warning, the rest of this article will contain heavy spoilers from Avengers: Infinity War. So, if you have not yet seen what can only be described as “The Cinematic Event of the Decade,” I highly recommend that you stop reading NOW, go to your closest movie theater, purchase a ticket, and WATCH THIS MOVIE.

Review

Just a quick review of the movie, since this article is not meant to focus on that aspect:

It’s fantastic. Go watch it.

Box Office Analysis

Not surprisingly, Avengers: Infinity War has become a box office smash hit since its release on April 26th. It had the fourth largest Thursday night release with $39 million (behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2), and the second highest Friday night release with $106 million (behind The Force Awakens). The only question remaining was whether it would have the highest grossing weekend of all time.

Needless to say, it crushed the competition. In its first weekend, Avengers: Infinity War brought in a colossal $257 million, easily outstripping Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which garnered $247 million in its opening weekend. Compared to other Marvel films, it beat out The Avengers, which made $207 million in its opening weekend, and Black Panther, which made $202 million.

Taking a look at the overseas box office, Avengers: Infinity War is also crushing it overseas. As of May 1, 2018, the film has so far earned $502 million at the worldwide box office, and this is before it has even premiered in China (which it will do on May 11). As of May 1, Avengers: Infinity War has earned, in total, $808 million at the worldwide box office. Comparing it to another popular film franchise, Avengers: Infinity War, within 5 days, has already outstripped Justice League’s entire theatrical run. Justice League made almost $658 million at the worldwide box office in 17 weeks (according to BoxOfficeMojo).

Cinematic Impact

The lasting effects of this film on the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are unreal. This movie has completely changed the entire universe moving forward, though the next Marvel films are going to be telling other stories besides the next chapter in this story. We will not find out the true lasting effects until Avengers 4 hits screens on May 3, 2019. The effects of that film will undoubtedly change the MCU even more and will launch Marvel into Phase 4.

Between now and the next Avengers, Marvel will be releasing two films: Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel. Ant-Man and the Wasp is suspected to take place either right before or during the events of Infinity War, so we will finally learn where Ant-Man was during those events. Captain Marvel, on the other hand, will not be taking place in modern times, but will instead be taking place in the early ‘90s. It’s already been revealed that Nick Fury, Agent Phil Coulson, and Ronan the Accuser will be returning, and it will give us some context surrounding the female hero’s history before she is fully incorporated into the MCU.

We already have an idea about how she will be introduced into modern times thanks to the post credits scene of Infinity War. Before disintegrating, Nick Fury pulls out what looks like an old fashioned pager to send a message to Captain Marvel. Her appearance shows that not all hope is lost just yet, and that she will (most likely) play an integral part in the eventual defeat of Thanos.

In the end, Thanos is successful in collecting all 6 Infinity Stones, and uses them to eradicate half of everyone in existence. Here is a list of the Avengers that died due to Thanos’ genocidal snap: Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier/White Wolf), Black Panther, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Mantis, Drax, Peter Quill (Star-Lord), Doctor Strange, Peter Parker (Spider-Man), Nick Fury, and Agent Maria Hill.

As for the rest of the Avengers, here is a list of those that survived: Thor, Black Widow, Iron Man, Bruce Banner, Rocket Raccoon, War Machine, Captain America, Okoye, Nebula, and possibly Shuri. This means that the majority of those that survived Infinity War are actually original Avengers.

Now, the list of those that died is indeed very long, but rest assured that it is also likely to be significantly overturned (we at least know there will be a Spider-Man 2 and a Black Panther 2). It’s actually fairly surprising that this many original Avengers made it out of this film alive. It was widely speculated that either Captain America or Iron Man would die in this film, due, in part, to the fact that both Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans’ contracts are up at Marvel. Not many people suspected for most of the new heroes to die. So it invites the question: Did they really die, or did something else happen to them (like going to a different reality)? And how will they come back? Only time will tell. But luckily, the roster for the next Avengers is still well stacked for the next film.

With the list of “most likely to return” so long, we still need to take a look at the characters that permanently perished. Right off the bat, we lose two major characters from the Thor series: Heimdell, who defended Asgard and was just all-around awesome, and Loki, who is one of the most popular characters in the entire MCU. Those two deaths were painful and set us up for the pain we would feel as the film continued. Then, there is Vision, who had little chance of making it out of the film alive as he literally had an Infinity Stone attached to his head (although this makes his death no less sad). But the death that was perhaps the most heartbreaking was Gamora. She was the only character to know the location of the elusive Soul Stone. In order for Thanos to claim the stone for his own, he had to trade the soul of the only person in the universe that he actually loved: Gamora herself. This had massive ramifications on the rest of the film, as this changes the roster of the Guardians of the Galaxy and also caused Peter Quill to ruin the ONLY CHANCE THE AVENGERS HAD TO STOP THANOS.

Can we talk about that for a minute?!? Quick recap – the Avengers battling Thanos in space were so close to getting the Infinity Gauntlet away from Thanos, and then Quill learned about Gamora’s death and had to ruin the plan. In his grief and anger, he started punching Thanos, knocking away Mantis’ hands and allowing Thanos to regain his strength. Now, people have been very angry about this- many have even taken to attacking Chris Pratt for the actions of his character. But let’s remember something – in Captain America: Civil War, Tony had a similar reaction when he learned that Bucky Barnes was the one that killed his parents, even though Bucky was under the control of HYDRA at the time. Grief is a powerful thing, and it can make rational people do irrational things, and unfortunately, Quill was the victim of grief in this film. He lost the woman he loved. Should we have expected him to react any other way?

After all that has happened, what can we now expect moving forward? Well, as mentioned above, we can expect the arrival of Captain Marvel to the MCU, and we should also expect for Ant-Man and Hawkeye to make their way back onto the Avengers’ roster (as there are so few heroes left). It has been confirmed that Jeremy Renner and Ant-Man are in Avengers 4, we just don’t yet in know in what capacity. And lastly, we need to remember Dr. Strange’s ominous prediction before his own disintegration. He knows the one way that the Avengers defeat Thanos, and, apparently, letting Thanos get all of the Infinity Stones was part of the plan.

Infinity War ended on a major cliffhanger, and it is important to remember that the story is not yet over (the film was originally intended to be a two-parter). We lost many heroes, but a few remain. We are left with feelings of grief and hope, and we know that the team will not stop fighting. They will fight for the friends, heroes, and people they lost to Thanos. After all, there’s a reason they are called the Avengers.


About the Author 

Tyler Carlos is a proud nerd originally from Baton Rouge, LA. He completed his undergraduate in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University, and graduated from JPCatholic’s MBA in Film Producing in 2016. In his off time, he enjoys Crossfit, escape rooms, and watching Gotham and This Is Us. His ultimate goal in life is to learn how to fly.