Avengers: Endgame’s confirmed three hour-plus running time comes as little surprise – how else could the Russo brothers stuff in so many character arcs, fight scenes AND a satisfying resolution to one of the biggest cliffhangers in movie history into one film? – but it does raise a few questions.
Will cinema soft drink sales plummet as fans avoid the risk of a full bladder pulling them away from the complex fate of Captain America?
Will neck pillows, footstools and slankets end up scattered around the cinema as the audience settles in for a long evening?
And how on earth will anyone manage to keep their kids engrossed for the entire runtime? The sight of Iron Man scooting about on screen can only do so much.
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Clearly, it’s time for movie theatres to reintroduce an interval, like my local cinema did for the extra-long Lord of the Rings trilogy (and even one of the early Harry Potter movies, for some reason). It will allow us all to stretch our legs, bomb to the bathroom and, most importantly of all, process whatever epic battle scene we’ll just have witnessed.
If it worked for the Monico cinema in Cardiff (RIP) in the early noughties and countless other films in the decades before that (when intervals were standard practice), why shouldn't it work for the major multiplexes of today?
Sure, it might mean slightly fewer showings crammed into a single day, but they make better profits from snacks than tickets anyway. If they were able to pick up a little extra cash selling that expensive theatre ice cream halfway through, I’m sure they could find it in their hearts to get over the intermission inconvenience.
Look, today’s audiences are used to bum-numbing sits through big blockbuster movies, so it’s unlikely Avengers: Endgame will cause too many problems.
But if we could make everyone more physically and mentally relaxed and allow people a chance to restock their popcorn, well, it seems like a wasted opportunity. Bring back our loo break!
Avengers: Endgame is released in UK cinemas from Thursday 25th April