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'Avengers: Endgame' director Joe Russo predicts movie-going will "swing back hard" after COVID-19

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(LOS ANGELES) — Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame was the highest-grossing movie of all time, making more than $2.79 billion at the global box office.  The 2019 film was such a hit that even recordings of packed theater reactions to the movie’s scenes went viral.  However, that was the “before times.” 

Now, with the pandemic, more than half of movie houses in the U.S. are still shuttered, yet millions of movie fans are hungry to experience something like that again. YouTube comments show fans are re-watching the reaction videos now, just to remember what it was like.

Two lifelong movie fans who can’t wait to get back to theaters are Joe and Anthony Russo. The siblings directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War, of course, Avengers: Infinity War and the climactic Endgame.

“I do think that it’s going to swing back hard,” Joe tells ABC Audio. “I mean, any time something is withheld and then you get an opportunity to do it, you’re going to do it a lot. And you look at the Chinese box office [where theaters are open]: from a week and a half ago, [it] broke all their records.”  

Looking back on the in-theater reactions to their films, Joe says, “We never been in a theater…with that much energy…[even at] the movies that we loved as children. It became, he says, “a global communal event.”

He added, “[E]veryone wanted to vocalize and participate…and cheer and gasp and jump up and down: We’d never seen anything like that.”

“And I hope we get to experience that again in another film that…we haven’t directed,” Joe notes. “That we can just be fans of and sit and enjoy with everyone else.”  

Joe and Anthony Russo’s new film, the drama Cherry, debuts on Apple TV+ on March 12.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.