This morning, while scrolling through my Facebook memories (aka the part of Facebook which reminds me I’m getting old), I noticed it has been seven years to the day since I watched The Avengers (2012) at the cinema. At the time of its release The Avengers was the biggest super hero movie EVER and the culmination of a four-year journey.
Facebook memories also reminded me that today marks the one-year anniversary since I went to the cinema to watch Infinity War. So it’s been a double-dose of Avengers memories today.
And this got me thinking – when did I watch the rest of the films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Twenty-two films have been released over past 11 years, all part of one big story, but when and how did I see it unfold?
Below is a list of all twenty-two movies, along with my memories associated with each screening.
Iron Man (2008) – Opening weekend for this one. I was very excited, but I had no huge expectations. I didn’t stay for the end credit scene because few movies back then contained end credit scenes and I didn’t know Iron Man had one!
The idea of a cinematic universe also seemed like a pipe dream as the basic model for movie making was one-to-two sequels if (and only if) the first film was a hit. Who knew this was ever going to lead to such a huge universe?!
The Incredible Hulk (2008) – Opening weekend for this one too. Again, no expectations, but I really enjoyed The Incredible Hulk – especially when Robert Downey JR showed up for a cameo.
Iron Man 2 (2010) – First week of release, but this time in IMAX. Due to the notion that these Marvel movies were beginning to link up I actually upped my game for this one, opting to watch it in IMAX!
Unfortunately, I was sat on the front row of the IMAX theatre which was WAY TOO CLOSE to the screen for my liking. To this date, I’ve not watched another Marvel Studios movie in IMAX because I found watching Iron Man 2 so frustrating.
Thor (2011) – Opening weekend. I remember liking it, but can’t remember anything about the cinema trip.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – Opening weekend. Liked it, but at the time I didn’t love it. My eye was now firmly on the next entry.
Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) – I saw this movie during the opening weekend. Previously I’d watched the Marvel movies with a partner, but for this outing it required a group!
I was hyped to see this movie and booked seats in ‘The Gallery’ – a more prestigious section of my local Odeon. The Gallery included leather seats, refillable drinks and snacks – as well as a £17 price tag per seat! Thankfully I didn’t pay £17 as I had accumulated enough points on an loyalty card to cover four of us! #Winning
Iron Man 3 (2013) – Opening weekend for this one, but as it was back to solo super hero tales I believe I watched Iron Man 3 on my own rather than with a group or with friends/partner.
Thor: The Dark World (2013) – First week of release.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – First week of release. Possibly the tail-end of the week due to work commitments etc. Loved it!
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – Opening weekend. 2014 was a great year as both of the Marvel Studios movies rocked!
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – Opening weekend, but I felt a little less excited about this one for some reason. I felt hyped on the day I watched it, but the excitement level wasn’t quite the same as it was with The Avengers.
Ant-Man (2015) – Opening weekend. I didn’t have huge expectations, mostly because I was aware that Ant-Man was a project that had been in development for some time, but I loved it!
Captain America: Civil War (2016) – Opening weekend (a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK if I remember correctly) and it was super busy at the cinema. At this point, with the exception of The Avengers this was the busiest I had ever seen a cinema get for a Marvel Studios movie. The queue for the snacks counter alone was HUGE and it seemed as if everyone wanted to watch this movie and/or buy a hot dog!
Doctor Strange (2016) – Opening week. I considered watching Doctor Strange in IMAX because of the visual effects work, but then I remembered the frustrating experience of watching Iron Man 2 and opted for a regular screening instead.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – Opening weekend.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – Opening weekend. Considering this was yet another reboot of the Spidey franchise I was pretty excited about this one. I think this was partially because of Spidey’s stand-out appearance in Civil War and partially because I like Spider-Man in general.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – Opening day. Something about the AWESOMENESS of the trailer made me want to watch this film on opening day rather than opening weekend/opening week. I wasn’t disappointed. I believe this is the only Marvel Studios movie I watched on the day of its release.
Black Panther (2018) – Opening weekend. I remember picking up the tickets and noticing that far more people were going to watch this movie than usual and it wasn’t just individuals or couples, it was groups and families. This film and Infinity War (see below) brought people out to the cinema who didn’t usually bother.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – Opening weekend. The movie opened on a Weds/Thurs in the UK, but I purposefully left it until the Saturday morning as I expected it to be very busy. It was. Very busy.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) – UK opening week, which was a while after most of the world had watched the film – and certainly long after it opened in the US. Ant-Man and the Wasp was released during The World Cup 2018, so it’s UK release date was pushed back until the end of the summer, so not to clash with the event. By the time the movie got it’s release I wasn’t in a rush to watch it. I recall I watched this on a Sunday morning as part of a double-bill with Teen Titans GO! to the Movies. A nice Marvel/DC mix.
Captain Marvel (2019) – Opening weekend AND a month (or so) after release – yep, I watched this one twice. To date, this is the only Marvel Studios movie (and possibly the only Marvel movie) I’ve ever watched twice at the cinema. This isn’t because Captain Marvel is my favourite – far from it – but because I re-watched the movie as part of a big re-watch of the MCU prior to the release of Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame (2019) – Opening day, early morning, in a cinema screen that was sold out. It was red hot (the air con was on the blink) and everyone was respectful of everyone else in the cinema by not talking, scrolling through their phones or generally being a dick. This is how all movie screenings should be – albeit with working air con.
So, that’s 22 films – all watched within days of release. Spider-Man: Far From Home is next and I can tell you now, I will be there opening weekend to see how it all plays out.
The only film considered part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which I didn’t watch at the cinema and still to this day have not watched at all is The Inhumans(2017). You may recall the first episode(s) of this short-lived TV series received a very limited theatrical screening.
I didn’t watch The Inhumans on the big screen because it looked awful and I knew it was never going to be considered a significant part of the MCU. In fact, it was only when putting together this list that I remembered it was even a thing!
So, where were you when the MCU happened? Did you follow from the start and did you watch every movie when it received its theatrical release or did you only recently get into this universe?
Whatever your story, whenever you jumped on board, share your journey with the MCU – I’d love to hear it.