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Endgame Spoilers: ‘Black Widow’ Doesn’t Have to Be a Prequel

There are few things more annoying than a prequel. Even if it’s a character that I care about, prequels lack the necessary tension and drama. Instead of being worried whether or not a character will be able to survive his or her trial, the outcome is already certain. There’s no reason to be worried that the character will die or face other drastic consequences. Black Widow and Scarlett Johansson deserve better than that. Unfortunately, all signs point to the Black Widow movie as being a prequel. After all, Black Widow is dead. She traded her soul for the soul stone and that trade was “an everlasting exchange.”

Why and how would a stone require a soul? In order for the information on the deal to be transferred to the Red Skull and enforced by the stone, the stone itself must have a consciousness. It must be a living entity. Unless Vormir, the stone’s home, is the living entity that guards the stone.

If the stone is a living entity, it is clearly evil. It desires a living sacrifice in order for others to access its power. That soul for a soul exchange and the disposition of the stone could be the subject of the Black Widow movie.

The stone could just require the soul to power it up. However, other versions of the soul stone have included a soul stone universe where all the souls that were sacrificed reside. Black Widow could realize she’s trapped in an alternate universe and work to find and fight her way out, possibly with the help of Gamora.

It would be an interesting story line to explore and with obstacles that Black Widow would be more than capable of overcoming. Imagine Marvel’s next villain being the Soul Stone Irregularity. Of course, the Black Widow movie doesn’t have to take place in the current MCU at all; the multi-verse and alternate timelines open up so many story telling possibilities.

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Who Will Be the Next Iron Man? Avengers: Endgame Spoilers

With Captain America handing his shield to Falcon, one of Marvel’s next heroes has already been chosen. The question remains: Who is Tony Stark’s successor? Iron Man is too hot a property to leave languishing because of a simple death. Here are the top prospects for Marvel’s next Iron Man.

Spider-Man: The trailers for “Spider-Man: Far from Home” make it seem like the world is looking for a new Iron Man. Peter Parker felt like Stark was his mentor, and his sense of duty requires that he try to take up the mantle. Parker invented his web shooters, so he has the engineering acumen to take up the Stark suit improvement mentality. He also has a suit made by Stark that he can improve upon and reverse engineer, and his relationship with Happy would probably give him access to the resources of Stark Industries – resources his aunt can’t provide.

But making Spider-Man the next Iron Man removes Spider-Man from the movie scene. It might work for a couple of movies, but ultimately, it hamstrings the opportunity to make more money from two popular franchises. Since Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man, Peter Parker is probably not going to be the next Iron Man. The world may need a new Iron Man, but it won’t be Peter Parker unless the MCU wants to introduce a live action Miles Morales.

War Machine or Iron Patriot: James Rhodes is the first one on the scene of Tony Stark’s death. He has an Iron Man inspired suit with more weapons. Marvel has already proven that it can take second rate properties and turn them into blockbusters, and Don Cheadle is no chump actor. He could carry a movie. The only things standing in his way are resources and the ability to engineer new suits. Rhodes has yet to show his genius side.

Pepper Potts: “We’re going to be okay. You can rest now.” Pepper Potts to Tony Stark, “Avengers: Endgame.” This statement could be Pepper taking the mantle from Tony. The “we” she is referring to could be her and her daughter, or it could be the planet Earth. Pepper may be signaling to Tony that she is ready to take on the responsibility of the suit. She has a different demeanor than Tony, but she is adept at managing resources and has the financial wherewithal to keep improving her Iron Man suit.

Morgan Stark: Sure, Morgan’s only five in “Avengers: Endgame,” but she could don the suit in as early as nine years (She’s already shown a penchant for wearing the suit parts). She’d be 14, which is still young, but if she has inherited the Stark genius and the Stark determination, there’d be nothing that could stop her. Picture Morgan teaming up with Pepper in Iron Man suits and imagine what kind of powerful story that could be. It would also give people time enough to heal from the death of her father while she isn’t healed herself. Who would she take revenge against?

Harley, the boy from Iron Man 3: At the end of Iron Man 3, Harley has a dream workshop and a Potato Gun Mark 2. There’s every indication that Stark kept in touch with his protégé, and Harley is at the funeral. Harley would likely have the Stark resources, like Peter would, and he has proven he can build things. If he’s worked hard at it, he may be able to invent and modify with the best of them.

Robert Downey Jr. from another universe: The multi-verse has been revealed. Any hero can come back at any time, and they can come back differently. Iron Man could return exactly as he was, but what if in his universe, he lost Pepper and Morgan? How would that make him different? What if the next Iron Man pits Pepper and Morgan against a Tony Stark bent on taking them to another universe? Would they go or would he kidnap them?

Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man seems to be to popular to leave dead, but Marvel will achieve the most integrity if they don’t bring him back. Except this is a comics universe: No one ever truly dies. Tell us who you think will be the next Iron Man in the comments.

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‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ – Farther Than You Think

Spider-Man went to space. That’s far from home. Going to Europe, while a nice diversion and, in Earthly dimensions, far from New York, it just can’t be considered that far from home for Peter Parker. It’s Europe, and he’s coming from the East Coast. But that’s just part of the story.

In the spoiler trailer released after “Avengers: Endgame,” the multi-verse is unveiled, and Nick Fury recruits Spider-Man to join forces with Mysterio against the monsters from Mysterio’s Earth. Fury tells Peter “We have a job to do, and you’re coming with us.” If Peter, Fury and Maria Hill are headed into the multi-verse, Spider-Man will be far from home. And it’ll be farther than anyone else on our Earth has ever been.

Kevin Feige has said that “Spider-Man: Far From Home” ends the MCU’s third phase. With its reveal of a multi-verse and Avengers’ time machine that could also serve as a fountain of youth if they run time through a person rather than the person through time, no character is safely dead, and many could return with different personalities and different motivations. Imagine the Captain America story where he is actually a Hydra agent… It’s out there in the multi-verse and could bring Chris Evans back.

For now, we just have to believe that the “Spider-Man: Far from Home” trailer is as misleading and spoiler-free as every other Marvel movie trailer. We also know that Peter Parker is going to have to live up to the mantle he feels has been passed to him (as well as some serious peer pressure from Nick Fury).

Check out “Spider-Man: Far From Home” – Not as Far as You Think.

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Tiny Avenger Giveaway at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con 2019

Patch Penguin and the Avengers

If you’re going to Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con, you want to remember the phrase “Penguinating is the power of positive creativity.” This phrase is the key to getting a tiny Avenger figure from the Kinder Egg collection. The first three people that say this phrase on Friday to us at the Penguinate table (B91) will get a tiny Avenger.

These tiny Avengers come in their original yellow capsule packaging. Possible Avengers include Groot, Black Panther, and Captain America. They come with instructions for building and games that can be played using them.

“Avengers: Endgame” is one of the biggest movies of the year. Celebrate the ending of Phase Three with a tiny Avenger. While most of the Avengers are tiny, Ant-Man is life-sized. So, stop by the Penguinate table (B91), say “Penguinating is the power of positive creativity,” and claim your prize.

If you happen to win more than one Avenger and get a double on Saturday or Sunday, you may trade your tiny Avenger for another. Only one Avenger per person per day. Offer good while supplies last. We look forward to seeing you at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con 2019.

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Disney Has an ‘Avatar’ Problem

In 2010, the Walt Disney Company released “Alice in Wonderland” starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowski, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Glover, and Stephen Fry. With an estimated budget of $200 million, Alice went on to make over $1 billion worldwide. It was a hit that many attributed to Depp’s lovable Mad Hatter and the newness of the 3D technology.

Six years later, Disney released “Alice through the Looking Glass” as a sequel focusing on Depp’s Hatter and his family. With an estimated $170 million budget and the addition of Sacha Baron Cohen, the film flopped, making less than $300 million worldwide.  Whether this was due to the allegations leveled at Depp by Amanda Heard the week of the film’s opening, Depp’s inability to be a main character when playing an eccentric (see “Mortdecai” and possibly “The Lone Ranger,” which was more about Depp’s Tonto than Armie Hammer’s titular character), or the mundanity of 3D technology that was novel when the first film released, the six years between the two films, or the meandering story line of the film itself, “Through the Looking Glass” couldn’t hold a candle to the original.

Now, in a “hold my (non-alcoholic) beer” moment, Disney’s going to commit the same mistake with four films and a theme park at stake. “Avatar” was released the winter of 2009 and became the biggest grossing movie of all time with $2.8 billion worldwide. (As of this writing, “Avengers: Endgame” may or may not take the top spot.) Disney collaborated with Cameron and added an Avatar-themed land to its Animal Kingdom. It has purchased 20th Century Fox and now owns the rights to the Avatar intellectual properties.

In 2009, 3D was a true novelty, and “Avatar” capitalized on the effect with its beautiful scenery and amazing alien landscape. The movie faced scant competition from “The Princess and the Frog” and “The Blind Side” its first weekend. The next weekend, it faced Robert Downey Jr.’s “Sherlock Holmes”, and after that it dominated the film competition until February’s “Dear John.” The story itself is a retelling of the story of Native Americans if they had actually decided to destroy the explorers that came to the New World. It’s not exceptionally original with its quasi-back to nature message and its ignoring of real history.

“Avatar 2” is scheduled to be released in 2021, 12 years after the first film. While “Avatar” made a lot of money, it’s not a beloved film. Its main appeal was in the new world’s Cameron was able to bring to life. The story was trite and untrue. “Avatar 2” won’t be able to capitalize on a pent-up desire for its characters or world (like Star Wars), and it won’t be able to rely on a stable of characters people have to come to love (like Marvel). Instead, it’s a risk with almost no reward. Even if “Avatar 2” scores a billion dollars, it will be a comparative flop. If it does less than that, it could sink the three sequels that are to come after it and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Whether or not these films are successful will depend on what Disney expects from them. If the company is okay with decaying box office totals in the hundreds of millions with the understanding that the films are keeping its Animal Kingdom in the public eye, maybe box office won’t matter so much. But an outright flop of the first sequel will create shockwaves that will reverberate throughout the company without being limited to the movie division.

For more Disney related content, order “Penguinate! The Disney Company.” Get “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.

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Endgame Spoilers: Playing with the F-Word ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Trolls the Trolls

This article contains spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame.” If you haven’t seen it, yet, seriously? You haven’t seen it, yet? Okay, well, since things on the Internet are forever and this could be read sometime in the future, if you haven’t seen it yet, book mark this page and come back to it. If you have seen “Endgame” then continue on after the trailer.

There is a certain segment of the movie going (and general) population whose trigger word is “feminism.” They came out against “Ghostbusters,” so hard that Leslie Jones had to delete her Twitter account. They’ve joined forces to harass “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” star Kelly Marie Tran into leaving social media.

The problem is so bad that when Rotten Tomatoes recognized campaigns to sink “Captain Marvel” “Black Panther” and “Star Wars: Episode IX” through bad reviews before the films were released, it changed its policy for reviewing films and only allowed people to review films after they had been released. That same anti-“Captain Marvel” campaign was addressed by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi in a class act social media post about how those actions actually hurt fandoms. People can like both films.

All of this plays into one amazing scene in “Avengers: Endgame.” All of the women on the battlefield during the confrontation with Thanos and his army come together on the screen to relieve Spider-Man and keep the gauntlet away from Thanos. It’s a glorious scene and sequence.

My first thought was “OMG! They did it. I can’t believe they did it. It’s amazing.” My second thought was “OMG! They did it. I can’t believe they did it. The trolls are going to be talking about this scene and deriding the movie because of it.” And they did come out to comment, which is unfortunate because one of the comments was a ridiculous “It’s not even realistic that all these women could get together on a chaotic battlefield to make this scene work.”

Let’s just take this comment at face value. “It’s not realistic…” This battle is literally about one thing: Getting the Infinity Gauntlet and keeping it away from Thanos. That’s all this battle is about. It’s not about killing the army on Thanos’ side. It’s not about counting bodies. It’s not about anything but Thanos and the gauntlet. Every eye in that battle, especially on the Avengers side, should be on that gauntlet and where it is at all times. Yes, you don’t want to get taken out by one of Thanos’ minions, but you also don’t want to get taken out by a second snap. So, when the women heard Spider-Man was in trouble, they all gathered to protect the him and the gauntlet.

Now, let’s move on to the more important point: “It’s not realistic…” We are talking about a movie where a rage monster merged with a genius and became a green, hulking scientist with little penchant for smashing things. This movie also featured an Asgardian getting a beer belly, half the beings in the universe having been snapped away, and stones holding sway over space, time, souls, reality, mind and power. Women were riding winged horses. Aliens were coming out of there spaceships. A man had grown to the size of skyscraper. A majority of the main cast had traveled through time, and many of the rest of them were resurrected after being dead for five years. Yes, it’s not realistic. It’s a comic book movie.

And let’s examine one more point: Comic team-ups are the best, especially for those who are less interested in comics. As a kid, I didn’t have a lot of money for comic books, so when I did buy them, they were either really cheap and secondhand or they were a comic that included a team-up. The return of almost the entire 11 years of Marvel superheroes at the beginning of the battle was powerful. Having the women team-up in the middle of the battle was also powerful. It was that moment of awe and wonder. They were both fan services, just for different types of fans.

For anyone who would criticize this scene, it’s important to realize what the scene really is and why you’re reacting to it negatively. Chances are, if you dig deep enough, you’ll find that you don’t like its implications of change at a cultural level. It does represent a shift in the status quo, and there’s no going back, no matter how much you fight, whine, complain and troll. What you should realize, though, is this shift is going to make it possible for your favorite comic book characters to survive. As more people enjoy the movies, the profits will funnel to the Marvel division of Disney and they will keep the comic books themselves on the shelves.

If you love Marvel comics, you should be grateful for everyone who saw “Avengers: Endgame” regardless of their politics and the fan service paid to them. Instead of wasting your time trolling, step into the light of a new day and find your power for positive transformation – like Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Maybe, you’ll even realize that scene wasn’t a fan service, it was a way to troll the trolls.

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Endgame Spoilers: The ‘Black Widow’ Movie Has a Problem

Patch Penguin and the Avengers

Marvel was hailed for its decision to finally give fans what they had been asking for: a “Black Widow” movie starring Scarlett Johansson. This is a movie fanboys and fanwomen can get behind with little controversy. The only problem is (spoilers ahead) –

Black Widow is dead.

ICYMI, (and with a global box office take heading beyond $2 billion, how could you?): Black Widow sacrificed herself to get the Soul Stone, so that Hawkeye could go back to his family. This exchange is permanent according to the paragon of truth known as the Red Skull (Do we really trust his word on it and how did he get to be an expert after being sent to Vormir by the Tesseract?). Hulk Banner tried to bring her back with his snap and failed. So, as far as anyone knows, Black Widow is dead forever and ever. Amen.

Of course, permanent in the comic book world is really more like “until pent up demand will sell a whole lot of comics with the right story line.) And Marvel has a problem with keeping its characters dead. Just ask Agent/Director Phil Coulson (I thought his name was “agent”), or any of the dozens of characters brought back in “Avengers: Endgame.” So, what will the “Black Widow” movie be about?

The Prequel

Let’s assume that Black Widow is dead and not coming back. That makes the “Black Widow” movie a prequel – or, as I like to call prequels, a movie with no stakes. We already know what happens to Natasha Romanoff in the future. We know she joins the Avengers and ends up sacrificing herself for the greater good. We spent the last decade learning who Romanoff is now, not knowing much about her past.

This type of “Black Widow” movie would have the same problem that “Solo” had. It’s playing with a character that everyone knows and loves. In “Solo,” there wasn’t enough character turning to explain how Han went from someone who loves a woman to someone who is only out for himself. (Maybe future movies would’ve explored this arc, but those look to be defunct as do many of the other Star Wars movies that were planned.” To succeed, the prequel would have to fully explain how Romanoff went from U.S.S.R. super spy to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, especially after going through extensive brainwashing and the cultural brainwashing that comes from living in any society.

You could write her change in heart and nature while comparing it to the fall of the U.S.S.R., but this type of political and historical action will need a context that many people today, even those who lived through it, simply lack. It’s a risky proposition fraught with peril and landmines.

A prequel would also necessitate another landmine situation. Scarlett Johansson would have to go through the same de-aging process as Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Michael Douglas, and to a lesser extent, Michelle Pfeiffer. In the body-positive age, will anyone be happy with a de-aged ScarJo? No one’s made a bug deal about it with the men or with Pfeiffer, but done incorrectly, it could have a negative impact greater than the trolls that regularly come out to jeer Marvel’s superwomen.

While it’s unlikely that any titular character is going to die in his or her own movie, the possibility of Black Widow’s death in a prequel is zero. Prequels, like flashbacks, have no weight. They have no stakes. Instead of advancing the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they stop it dead in its tracks. “Captain Marvel” was well-received, but knowing she was in Endgame took away some of the power the movie could’ve had. “Black Widow” would suffer in the same way. The film will be like watching a biography or documentary made by a company that usually deals in high stakes movies.

The Alternate Timeline

It’s an alternate timeline Black Widow! This could certainly be more entertaining to watch as Romanoff gets plucked out of time and transported to the present day that requires her specific set of skills. This “Black Widow” could more fully develop Marvel’s version of time travel and the problems it causes. It could even be set up as part of the story line that Black Widow’s death and some seriously negative side effects. (What if she’s the glue for a team that otherwise won’t work together and fails at their mission?) The story could really be anything with an alternate timeline Romanoff.

The problem with this “Black Widow” movie is that people are used to Marvel films and television (even the Netflix shows) taking place in the same timeline. That’s what built up the colossal success of “Endgame.” While some shows may be moving in that direction (i.e. Disney+’s “Loki”), the movies could have a problem keeping their audiences and their tie-ins to each other. Marvel could come up with a designation to separate out the timelines, but it could get messy for quickly and destroy the cohesiveness that has allowed the MCU to flourish on the movie screen. Fortunately, fan sites can help keep people straight on which movie goes where.

The Soul Stone

The Soul Stone is said to trap the souls exchanged for its use inside a pocket dimension or alternate reality. Exploring this world would definitely be interesting and move the story forward. Perhaps, because Black Widow sacrificed herself, the Soul Stone reacts differently to her. It may be the reason she’s able to return, proving the Red Skull wring in the process. The self-sacrifice and its purity in act and intention would explain why Gamora can’t escape, as could her child form. However, it’s possible for her child form to play the role of mentor and guide for Black Widow.

The souls trapped in the stone could be like crabs in a bucket. They keep each other trapped, and Black Widow will have to figure out how to fix that. In this scenario Gamora could be used to betray Black Widow when its revealed that Gamora has been sabotaging Romanoff from the beginning. The Soul Stone doesn’t sound like a good entity if it wants to trap souls. In the case of Gamora, it may be that the longer a soul spends in the stone, the more corrupt it becomes.

If Marvel still wants to include an origin story for Black Widow, it can use the Soul Stone alternate reality as a place made up of the person’s past experiences. This could be a sort of health, especially if the Soul Stone gains its powers through the torture of souls (or through their screams, like Monstropolis in “Monsters Inc.” before they found the true power of a child’s laughter).

Marvel continues to surprise and wow audiences, but even the best of studios is going to make a misstep. Let’s hope “Black Widow” isn’t the next one.

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An ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Review Two Weeks Later? Stick it to the MSM! Like, Comment and Share

Patch Penguin and the Avengers

I got fed up with the MSM who decided it was okay to post reviews, articles and spoiler photos on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and throughout the opening weekend of “Avengers: Endgame” because it hadn’t been released everywhere, and I had no choice but to look at the headlines (and thus read them) and possibly learn spoilers, which sucks! Thanos demanded their silence, and the stars pleaded their case not to ruin the Endgame. Main stream media went ahead and did so anyway. So, this review has been consciously published two weeks after the Russian release date as a nose thumbing to the unbelievers who think you won’t like, comment or share an “Avengers: Endgame” review after it’s been in the theaters for a little bit.

I have more faith in you, true believer, and I believe that you will like, comment and share this review because you don’t want future movies to be spoiled by fast, first and spoiler MSM. Of course, that means I should write a damn good spoiler-free review… I’m not sure I have that in me… Well, if I can’t protect the sanctity of the spoiler-free review, I might as well avenge it.

First of all, you have to hand it to the people in charge of the marketing campaign; they didn’t give anything away in the trailers. It’s amazing that they were able to mine the first 30 minutes and come up with interesting trailers that kept the movie under wraps.

Starting with Hawkeye was essential. Hawkeye is the easiest way for the average person to engage in a film full of superheroes who are super smart, super strong and generally just fantastic. Showing him at home with his family at the moment of the snap, reminds everyone what’s at stake.

The end battle scene was beautiful, and war shouldn’t be beautiful. It wasn’t the first battle scene of the movie, but it was the least surprising. Still, it brought up all the feels, and somehow didn’t feel like a copout. Maybe because it had been set up over the course for several movies, maybe because the main characters all get their spot in the limelight, maybe because it was just so well done… whatever the reason, that battle was cinematic eye candy for this generation.

The best reveal also had the best character change. The women stand up and out in battle. But where “Avengers: Endgame” excels is where every Marvel movie has excelled when they’ve done it right – in the characters. This story is a character-driven narrative built on special effects rather than special effects with some plot things thrown in. Maybe it’s time to revisit the Endgame again and find out what you missed.

Sock it to those major media outlets that posted spoiler-y reviews, headlines and photos proclaiming the knowledge of what that last scene for the Hulk meant or for Iron Man of for Captain America, or who was that lone kid, or where did Captain Marvel go, or why the “Back to the Future” time theory won’t work for Endgame, all of which couldn’t be avoided because they showed up in Yahoo! News feeds, twitter feeds, Facebook timelines and other social media. Share this post with your friends and show the media that you can be trusted to click on their Avengers articles even a couple weeks after the movie debuts.

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Marvel Fans Shouldn’t Care about Final Box Office of ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Patch Penguin and the Avengers

The biggest debate in the movie community is where will “Avengers: Endgame” end its box office run. Will it finish in the top spot worldwide and domestic, or will it finish second? Some movie writers have gone so far to call out the manipulations of misleading articles saying that the box office for “Avengers: Endgame” could never reach the domestic gross of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” or the global box office of “Avatar” if the numbers are adjusted for inflation. Comparing today’s box office with 2015’s take for “Force Awakens” and 2009’s gross for “Avatar” is a bit of mathematical chicanery according to critics. “Endgame” is only ranked #36 domestically when adjusted for inflation.

However, whatever ranking “Endgame” finishes with shouldn’t matter. In fact, true Marvel and movie fans shouldn’t be concerned about the final numbers. These movies are so huge, even if they don’t look that great when compared to the adjusted for inflation numbers, because they are currently making money hand over fist for the company that owns their creative rights: Disney. People who love Marvel films have nothing to worry about, even if one of the films underperforms. Instead, Marvel fans need to worry about the other movie properties that aren’t going to rake in the types of numbers these tentpoles do. Those are the films that Marvel fans should rally behind.

I’m not talking DC films or the other big budget releases that may fall into the Box Office hole never to recover (i.e. “Solo”). I’m talking about genuinely small budget films that are amazing. Films like “Hidden Figures,” “BlackKklansman,” or “The Imitation Game” have something to say about our world and are great entertainment to boot. They may get recognition at the Awards ceremonies, but they need box office recognition in order for movie goers to see more films like them on the big screen.

Rather than seeing the next big tent pole five times, or even three time, put that third movie ticket behind a film that isn’t getting much love from the advertisers or from the movie industry. Check out an indie film, a documentary, or even a film that was just overlooked because of the hype behind the big tent pole films. This will help bring more diversity to the movie screen. Creatives will have more opportunity to step away from the ordinary that big budgets have become, and you’ll have a richer life experience. Every time, you see a film, you vote with your dollars showing what you want more of. Don’t let superheroes be the only films we have an opportunity to watch.

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How ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is helping Netflix

Patch Penguin and the Avengers

“Avengers: Endgame” is smashing records like Hulk smashed everything in his many movie and TV appearances. Above all, it’s performing well in China where it’s close enough to all-time records to be mentioned in the same breath as homegrown favorites like “The Wandering Earth.”

The fact that “The Wandering Earth debuted in February and had the highest IMAX gross, which was then beaten by Avengers, creates an interest in seeing the movie. Endgame could gross more in China than “The Wandering Earth” and creating an even greater interest in seeing the Chinese film. If it was that good, it must be worth seeing, and for those who want to be able to say anything intelligent about the heavyweight duel overseas, they’ll have to find a way to see ‘The Wandering Earth” and find out what made it such a huge hit in China. In steps Netflix to fill the gap.

By promoting it as something people can see, Netflix is effectively able to use the free advertising generated by the comparison between “The Wandering Earth” and Endgame to get views of a Chinese film most wouldn’t ordinarily even find to watch much less consider. If Netflix or other streaming services begin to capitalize on the comparisons that go on with box office incomes, we could see a slew of international films gaining steam first through streaming. Once Americans get used to seeing foreign films with subtitles, there’ll be no stopping the influx of new and better films.

Even if those foreign film studios are as mired in sequel-itis as U.S. studios are, the stories and concepts will be new and more original to U.S. audiences. That’s good for storytelling and creativity because foreign films can introduce different ideas and viewpoints into American culture. For now, Netflix gains with having “The Wandering Earth” available to stream, and having one more way to create buzz through using another studios success.