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If you spend as much time in movie theaters as we used to around here, this whole experience feels especially strange. The feeling of being in a dark theater, with a crowd, sharing an experience on screen is something quite unique. This week we were reminded of just how special a communal theater experience can be when a clip from Avengers: Endgame started going viral. It showed the sequence where Captain America uses Mjolnir to battle Thanos, but what made this clip different was that it included the audio of a theater full of people watching the scene for the first time. The excitement was electric.
The clip got a boost on Twitter when it was retweeted by Marvel Studios' chief Kevin Feige himself, who used the opportunity to not only remind fans of where we were 12 months ago, but to promise them that we'll be there again before too long.
Movie theaters have been nearly entirely closed in the U.S. for nearly a month. Movies have had their release dates almost entirely cancelled through May. While studios certainly hope theaters are open in June, under the circumstances, it can be difficult to believe that will be the case, but Kevin Feige is taking a very positive outlook on the whole thing. We don't know when we'll all be back in theaters together again, but we will be.
When it comes specifically to Marvel movies, one certainly hopes things are back to normal come November, which is now when Black Widow, previously scheduled for May, is set to debut. Marvel was in a better position than most studios when it came to trying to rearrange the schedule. Since Marvel already had more than two years of release dates set, every movie in the slate just took one step backward, so Black Widow took the date that was supposed to see The Eternals opening, The Eternals took the date that was going to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings debut, and so on down the line.
As somebody who has gone to movie theaters a minimum of once a week for years, there will be no greater symbol of the world returning to normal than being back in the theater with an audience watching some highly anticipated movie. And certainly, we all know that, at some point, we'll be able to do that, but it's certainly tough to see the bright side right now.
Kevin Feige's positive attitude is heartening. Marvel movies are pretty optimistic when it comes down to it. They represent the best that humanity has to offer and in the end they always win out. It's the kind of story a lot of us could probably use right now.