Avengers: Endgame makes its way to Blu-ray/DVD and 4K Ultra HD today, which is really the last step in the cycle for not just the biggest movie of the year, but now of all time. This is, at this point, a victory lap for Marvel Studios. Yet, even after all of those tickets sold and all of those fans viewing the movie, certain questions still need to be answered, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has just answered a really big one. Namely, how did Hulk managed to safely undo Thanos' original snap?
Just to recap. Thanos ended Infinity War by completing his mission. He gathered all of the Infinity Stones and snapped half of all life out of existence. The majority of Avengers: Endgame sees our remaining heroes trying to gather the Infinity Stones via time travel to undo the snap. Eventually, this is accomplished and since Hulk is the strongest Avengers, he opts to do the snap and bring everyone back. Hulk is successful. A large battle ensues, but those dusted by Thanos originally were brought back to life safely.
Many have called into question this particular moment. There are many variables. What if someone were getting surgery at the time of the snap? Would they come back with an open chest? What if people were on a plane mid-flight during the snap? Would they come back in midair? Kevin Feige, in a recent interview, was asked this precise question. Here's what he had to say about it.
"If people were in an airplane when they were dusted, they didn't return at 35,000 feet. They didn't fall to their deaths because Smart Hulk is smart, and when he snapped... You can wish for whatever you want and you can wish for everyone to come back safely. Done."
While the specifics of how the Infinity Stones work when their powers are combined remains fuzzy, it's clear that one wielding the gauntlet can, more or less, do as they please with no limits. So it makes sense that Hulk, with his strength and Bruce Banner's brain, could properly think this through before snapping his fingers. Credit where credit is due, the folks behind the MCU do have an answer for this stuff and they do think things through.
Directed by Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame was embraced by critics and fans alike, on its way to a record-breaking $2.79 billion run at the box office. That was enough to help it topple James Cameron's Avatar as the highest-grossing movie ever, which is no small feat. This movie had to accomplish a lot and, not only did it manage to satisfyingly conclude this large story arc, but it's clear a whole lot of thought went into how this was all ultimately accomplished. Avengers: Endgame is now available on Digital HD or your preferred form of physical media. This news comes to us via Empire.
MoviePass is technically still alive, though barely: Back in July the troubled subscription moviegoing service abruptly went on hiatus, promising any users left that they were temporarily pulling the plug to address “technical issues.” They're still MIA though they now claim 40% of their users are back on, but in the meantime, on Tuesday, Business Insider released an epic report detailing the rise and fall with the deal that sounded too good to last for long, because it was.
There are many horror stories, from how its tireless founder, Stacy Spikes, was ousted right after the company signed its millionth subscriber to how their vendor couldn't print enough cards to meet with a fresh flush of new users to the honchos' loathing of “power users,” the ones who used it as much as they could.
One of the better stories comes during the first stage in what would prove MoviePass' downfall, namely this: They were killed by the Avengers. Their Waterloo was the opening weekend of Avengers: Infinity War, in late April of 2018. According to Business Insider, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe tried to limit subscriber access to the biggest movie of the summer.
It “reduced the number of people who were sharing their membership card with multiple people, it reduced the number of people who were buying and scalping tickets to the high demand movies, and it reduced the number of people who were buying tickets each day to various movies then exchanging them for a single movie and bringing three or four people to the same movie,” the spokesperson said. “MoviePass purchased many millions of dollars of tickets for Avengers as we did for other hit titles.”
But it didn't work. By the end of July, halfway through the summer movie season, the company was losing at least $40 million a month. By July 26, the weekend of Mission: Impossible — Fallout, the company ran out of the money needed to fill MoviePass cards. MoviePass, along with its sister company Helios & Matheson, had to borrow $5 million to get it back online. They wound up, infamously, removing the fifth Mission: Impossible from its service entirely, on top of freezing the accounts of half its subscribers — kind of like Thanos' infamous snap, from the movie that first sounded their death knell.
The decision was not well-received by MoviePass subscribers, nor by the US Department of Justice, a counsel expert at which described Lowe's actions as “certainly unethical and could be illegal.”
MoviePass was never the same. Since then it moved from making everything available, unlimited and one ticket a day, to only a handful of titles available each day, only three a month. There were endless complaints, dodgy company behavior, desperate attempts at restructuring, even claims of fraud. And now they're on hold, working on those aforementioned “technical issues.” And to think they would have gotten away with their impossible plan had it not been for those meddling Avengers.
Captain Marvel is loved and hated equally by Marvel movie fans, which seems to be the ultimate take on this MCU adventure as it goes under the Honest Trailers microscope. They call out the movie for all of its 90s references, and hack on Brie Larson for her lack of emotion as Carol Danvers, but they never go all the way to bash the epic sci-fi adventure, leaving that to the trolls who have tried to torpedo the so-so movie from the get-go.
Honest Trailers is careful not to hurt anyone's feelings when it comes to discussing Captain Marvel. They aren't necessarily playing nice, either, as they've done with some of the more divisive fan films in recent memory. They sum the whole experience up best when they call it the disappointing meat in an Infinity War sandwich. Fair enough.
Related: Captain Marvel Gets 2nd Place Boost at the Box Office Thanks to Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame brought Marvel Phase 3 to a close after eleven years and twenty-two movies. But to get there, fans had to first sit through Captain Marvel first, which takes place in the year 1995, and sets up the Avengers initiative from the start. It's an important piece of the overall narrative, though some were disappointed to see Carol Danvers mostly relegated to the sidelines in Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame killed off or got rid of some top players in the game, with Iron Man, Black Widow and Captain America all out of the picture for the time being. Carol Danvers was always purported to be the successor, a Marvel hero that was stronger, faster and pretty much better than anyone else. Though even she couldn't singlehandedly bring down Thanos. She did get to show up in the big end fight, having her moment to shine. But it is expected that she'll be the defacto leader of the MCU moving forward.
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck share directorial duties on Captain Marvel, and they did a respectable job of delivering another fun Marvel adventure to the big screen. It's not the best, it's not the worst, but for what it is, it's pretty entertaining. Though some 'trolls' tried to tank the movie at the box office, their efforts did little to affect the blockbuster, which has taken in over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, making it one of 2019's biggest hits.
Captain Marvel makes its way to Blu-ray and DVD today, June 11, with Avengers: Endgame still in theaters struggling to beat Avatar as the biggest movie of all time. Most suspect it just won't get there. Captain Marvel has quite a few moments to make fun of, including the fact that even though Samuel L. Jackson is de-aged, he still moves, fights, and plucks away at his computer keyboard one key at a time like an old grandpa. At the end of the day, Honest Trailers gives Captain Marvel a pass when comparing it to other MCU origin movies and calls it the Citizen Kane of female led superhero movies, pointing to Electra and Catwoman in comparison, leaving Wonder Woman out of the conversation. The latest Honest Trailer comes from the Screen Junkies crew.
After getting a beating from Thanos at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, not only did Hulk not emerge for the rest of that movie, that ended up being the last time we saw the Green Goliath in this brutish form. During Avengers: Endgame, sometime in the five years after The Decimation occurred, Bruce Banner merged his intellect with Hulk's brawn, resulting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's version of the Professor Hulk personality.
However, it turns out we could have seen a more intelligent Hulk earlier in the MCU, as Stephen McFeely, who co-wrote both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame with Christopher Markus, revealed:
We originally had Smart Hulk in Infinity War.
You'll recall that in Avengers: Infinity War, Bruce Banner tried several times to get the Hulk to come out, but his monstrous other half refused, requiring Bruce to don the Hulkbuster armor when Thanos' forces invaded Wakanda. While some speculated that Hulk was scared to jump back into battle after being pummeled by Thanos, directors Joe and Anthony Russo explained that Hulk had actually “had enough of saving Banner's ass.”
Either way, as Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus explained to Fandango, originally the plan in Avengers: Infinity War was for Bruce Banner to fix his “communication problems” with Hulk and transform into Smart Hulk just in time for the final conflict in Wakanda. However, it was decided late in the creative process that this shift didn't feel tonally right, so it was scrapped and saved for Avengers: Endgame.
Which brings us to the above moment that was shown in the first Avengers: Infinity War trailer, where Hulk is charging into battle alongside his allies. Obviously that moment never occurred in the movie, but rather than simply being filmed to fool audiences, this was originally intended to be an actual scene, only rather than getting more of normal, angry Hulk, that's a Hulk with significantly improved intelligence who's getting ready to kick some ass.
This makes for a cool 'what could have been' scenario another if Hulk had been dusted, but within the actual MCU timeline, it took a little longer for Bruce Banner to finally achieve a balance with The Hulk. When he finally stopped looking at Hulk as a problem and instead as a solution, Bruce brought the best of both worlds together through gamma radiation, allowing him to finally achieve a sense of peace and the world to see Hulk as a proper superhero.
The emergence of Professor Hulk marked the conclusion of the special Hulk “trilogy” that began in Thor: Ragnarok. There's no word yet on if we'll be seeing more of Hulk going into the MCU's Phase 4 and beyond, but Mark Ruffalo has at least one movie left on his contract, so perhaps Marvel Studios will give fans another taste of this more reasonable and dignified version of the Green Goliath in action.