‘Avengers: Endgame’, the 22nd film from the Marvel series that is expected to conclude the decade-long Avengers franchise, is all set for its grand premiere in India today. Expectations have been building up ever since the previous movie, ‘Avengers: Infinity Wars’ hit the theatres last year and left fans of the massive franchise on the edge. Online booking platform BookMyShow has reported that more than 2.5 million advance tickets have been sold for today’s premiere. Mobile Payment service, Paytm has reported 1.5 mllion tickets sold in advance bookings.
Paytm and BookMyShow began offering discounts for ticket bookings immediately after as fans began lining up to buy tickets.
Globally, too, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has amassed massive collections. China, where the film launched on Wednesday, two days ahead of the US launch, saw opening collections of $107.5 million, as per a report by Variety. South Korea has reported collections of $8.4 million, Australia - $7 million, and France - $6 million. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is poised to be a monster hit in India as well.
It has been a long exciting journey for Marvel in India as it builds a strong fan base for its Avengers films and leverages existing knowledge of Marvel fans in India, who have seen their previous movies in their successive marketing campaigns.
Marvel India’s marketing strategy has been focused on the young superhero fans, who constitute a bulk of the movie goers. A major push for their marketing has been on digital.
Marvel India launched their digital marketing campaign for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in March 2019, when their announced the trailer for the film. Along with the trailer announcement, it was also revealed that Joe Russo, of the Russo Brothers who have directed the film, would be coming to India, which kept the excitement alive.
The trailer did a great job of whipping up fan frenzy without revealing anything, but as any Avegers fan knows, the remaining superheroes will join their collective might and take a final stand to stop Thanos, who obliterated half the universe’s population with the snap of his Infinity Stones clad fingers in ‘Avengers: Infinity Wars’.
It may be noted here that marketing for the new movie began right when ‘Captain Marvel’ was making the rounds in theatres, so the impending release of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ was already on the top of the minds of fans.
Soon after, Marvel released the official poster for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ along with the #WhateverItTakes and #AvengersEndgame hashtags. However, responses to both the trailer and poster reveal were notably muted because almost no new information was shared.
Following several video byte teasers, Marvel revealed the #MarvelFanFest contest, announcing the Joe Russo would attend its Fan Fest in India and answer the burning questions of fans, with the clever hashtag #JoeBhiPuchaHai.
The cast of the Avengers franchise were also called in to promote Joe’s appearance in India.
This caught the imagination of fans as actors Robert Downey Jr. (aka Ironman) and Josh Brolin (aka Thanos) from the MCU threw their weight behind the Marvel Fan Fest.
Not long after the #MarvelFanFest on April 1, Marvel added another layer of vigor to its digital marketing efforts by deploying a multi-language marketing campaign and releasing the trailer and subsequent video bytes in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu to target the regional demographic.
For the hardcore fans who missed their opportunity to attend the fan festival, Marvel kept the momentum high by launching a new contest, where fans could get an opportunity to meet actor Robert Downey Jr. A chance to interact with @RobertDowneyJr? This is not a drill!
Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai, the registrations are open now!
Please collect your physical pass from the specified @_PVRCinemas , @IMAX theatres. #WhateverItTakes
Register here: https://t.co/P0oKEdI5qB pic.twitter.com/GmJDLc7loM
A chance to interact with @RobertDowneyJr? This is not a drill!
However, not everything has been hunky dory for Marvel during the course of the promotions. AR Rahman’s Marvel Anthem was poorly received by fans and didn’t go down as well as they may have hoped.
On April 17, with little more than a week left for the film’s release, Marvel launched a innovative new awareness campaign – #DontSpoilTheEndgame – directly addressing fans to not spoil the movie for movie goers who may not have got the tickets early on and ruin their experience.
Despite all efforts to keep the movie plot under wraps, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has not escaped the movie pirates, with media reports about piracy website TamiRockers leaking the film online two days before the launch in India.
Considering the stellar run that ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ had at the Indian box office, we can safely assume that ‘Avengers: Endgame’ will surpass previous records of Hollywood films in India.