The reactions from early test screenings of Avengers: Endgame‘s 3 hour runtime have been great, according to directors Anthony and Joe Russo. Marvel Studios is continuing to build up hype for their 22nd entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The fourth Avengers film will be the first to show the aftermath of Thanos’ snap from the end of Avengers: Infinity War, but also serves as the culmination of the MCU to this point.
There’s plenty of characters and storylines that Avengers: Endgame has to deal with, and fans have wondered how Marvel and the Russos are planning to wrap this up ever since Infinity War ended. Theories and speculation about the story has dominated conversation, but one aspect of the film that many fans have been most interested in is how long Endgame will be. The Russo brothers previously stated that Avengers 4 will be longer than Infinity War, which ran for roughly two and a half hours. This statement has brought about much discussion over just how long the sequel will be, with the Russos saying on multiple occasions the film is currently around 3 hours long.
When Collider had the opportunity to speak to the Russos recently, they asked them for an update on the film’s runtime and Joe Russo confirmed, “We’re still at the three-hour mark.” Although there are still several weeks of editing that will be done, this is where the Russos believe it will clock in at out of necessity. They’ve even begun test screening the movie, which Joe says they’ve received great reactions from.
I think the studio is down with what the best story is. Right now, we think the movie is playing well and we’ve had great responses from our test audiences and we’re feeling very good about where it is. We’re still doing work to it. We’re not done with it. Again, this is a culmination film of 22 movies, it’s a lot of storytelling to work into it. Emotion is an intrinsic part of that to us. When you have to tell a really complicated story and you want strong emotional moments with the characters, it just requires a certain amount of real estate. This one, in particular, feels like three hours worth of real estate.
The Russos previously said that there was a high probability that Endgamewould have a runtime around 3 hours long, but since that was a few months ago, their latest insight on the film’s length is a sign that not too much else has changed since then. This length also means that we’ve barely seen any footage from the film, even after the release of the Super Bowl TV spot. The best piece of information to come from this quote though is that the reactions so far to this cut have been very positive. Anthony Russo stated later in the interview that the film has been screened four times and no one left for a bathroom break during the first three, which they believe is a good sign for the film’s story and pacing.
Although regular audiences will not get to know if the 3 hour runtime on Avengers: Endgame is worth it until April, the fact that the Russos believe this much time is needed to wrap up this eleven-year story could speak to just how much will happen. The reactions from their test screenings would indicate that they are justified in this belief, while it also speaks volumes that Disney and Marvel are willing to release a 3 hour blockbuster. This long runtime will limit the amount of screenings individual theaters are able to show in a single day, which is against the usual Hollywood model of wanting as many showings as possible to increase box office potential. But, given all the excitement and interest that Avengers: Endgame has already generated, it should have no problem making money at the box office regardless of how long the runtime is.