The Full Room: Breaking Down The New Avengers Trailer

Hi, everyone! Before I get into the post, I want to apologize quickly for the run of silence on this blog. The past few weekends have been beyond busy and I've had people in town to entertain just about every one, so I haven't had the time to devote to writing the in-depth discussion of Beauty And The Beast that I want to end this series with. This is something to tide you all over, a follow-up from last week. With that said, on to the post, and I promise that I'll get to Beauty And The Beast next week!

HOLY. SHIT. IT'S OUT. WE JUST GOT A NEW INFINITY WAR TRAILER AND IT LOOKS AMAZING AND I CAN'T HANDLE IT AND I WANT TO WATCH IT NOW!

Now that I've had my obligatory freak-out, I want to talk about what makes this trailer, attached below, so good and so much better than the Justice League trailer I examined a bit over a month ago. Specifically, I want to show how this trailer offers us two succinct, powerful, and believable emotional cores.

There are two emotional cores posited in this trailer, the first of which is encapsulated in these screen captures below:

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Oh, damn. This does not look good. For the first time, a film in the MCU is hitting us with the idea that someone probably isn’t walking away from this fight. The thing is, this hits home, perhaps harder than knowing any character in peril has a right to. A quick search on social media reveals people up in arms at the idea that Cap or Tony might die, genuinely and powerfully emotional about the potential death of a fictional character. And it hits so hard because this isn’t some bolt out of the blue. We’ve spent ten years worrying about these characters, but also watching them, by and large, escape unharmed from every movie. A change in that status quo, the thought that we might be losing someone this time, impacts us profoundly.

The second emotional core is best illustrated by moments like these:

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This one should be obvious. Perhaps more than any of the action, perhaps more than any of the drama, perhaps more than any of the stakes, this is what's drawing us into this next Avengers movie: we just want to watch them talk. This is one of the major things that this trailer focuses on, with almost every bit of its run-time not devoted to hyping up the opponents the avengers will be facing in the film focused on teasing us with little hints of how our favorite characters could interact, and it hooks us in profoundly. The other thing you'll see on social media if you look up anything related to the Avengers is people damn celebrating that fictional characters are just going to talk to each other, something you'd be hard-pressed to find for just about any other Intellectual property in history. This emotional core resonates with us, it rings true to us, because the past ten years of Marvel's cinematic universe. This, unlike the emotional cores of the Justice League trailer presented us with, has its foundation in something we've experienced. And that's why it works. 

That this trailer worked some serious magic is undeniable: advance sales of tickets for Infinity War, which launched in conjunction with the release of the trailer discussed, needed only six hours to break the all-time record, a record it took Black Panther (which, by the way, crushed it at the box office with over $1 Billion in sales, making it the second-largest box office winner for a superhero movie of all time) 24 hours to set. How they did it, though, is no mystery, as long as you recognize that both of the emotional cores to the trailer displayed above have one overarching focus: character. The studio has spent ten years by now setting us up to fall in love with these characters in all their disparate circumstances and settings, and we absolutely have. That one of them could potentially die, or even that they could meet each other, is such a powerful draw to see the movie that we can't help but feel overwhelming excitement, and that the movie already looks set to absolutely crush its predecessors. This is Marvel's not-so-magical magic: they're the biggest thing in the world because they've put in the work to become so.

With Excitement and Optimism,

Alex