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Friday, May 4, 2018

MCU Going Strong with Infinity War

Written by Jon Williams

Last week, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War thundered into theaters across the country to the tune of a nearly $258 million opening. That total pushed it past 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time. Going into its second weekend, it looks likely to dominate the box office once again, and in fact may continue to do so until the next Marvel movie, the much-anticipated Deadpool sequel, opens on May 18.

We last checked in on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) nearly two years ago, with the release of Captain America: Civil War. That movie kicked off Phase 3 of Marvel’s ongoing interconnected movie universe, and the post detailed the films that made up the first two phases. Phase 3 continued in 2016 with Doctor Strange, which brought Benedict Cumberbatch’s reality-bending sorcerer into the mix. The following year saw three MCU blockbusters, starting with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in May. The action returned to Earth with Spider-Man: Homecoming in July, the webslinger’s first solo outing since Civil War introduced him to the Avengers team. Then, in November, Thor: Ragnarok showed the exploits of the two Avengers (Hulk being the second) who weren’t around for the events of Civil War. And 2018 has really brought the power: before Infinity War’s incredible opening weekend, Black Panther, which opened in February, became the third highest-grossing film of all time in North America. That movie, which is still showing in many theaters nearly three months later, comes to video on May 15.

So where do the Avengers go from here? For those that have seen the movie (no spoilers!), that is a very pressing questions. The immediate answer is Ant-Man and the Wasp, which comes to theaters on July 6. It’s a sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man (Phase 2), which saw Paul Rudd’s character Scott Lang get the suit that allows him to shrink or grow at will. However, the film is set in the time period between Civil War and Infinity War, so don’t expect too many answers as to what happens next. From there, fans will have to wait until next March, when Captain Marvel is set to be released, with Brie Larson in the title role. Likewise, though, there isn’t likely to be any closure here, either, as it’s set in the 1990s. No, for that, everyone is just going to have to wait for the as-yet-untitled fourth Avengers movie, currently slated for release on May 3, 2019. That will bring the curtain down on Phase 3 and lead into Phase 4, about which little is known at this point.

A year is a long time to wait for the next Avengers, but on the bright side, it’s also plenty of time for patrons to relive or get caught up on all the incredible movies that have brought us to this point—starting, of course, with Iron Man, which kicked off the MCU when it was released almost exactly ten years ago, on May 2, 2008. And for those who want to dig a little deeper, we have curated a collection of Infinity War-related comics on hoopla, as well as a wealth of other Marvel titles.

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