12:24pm PT by Pamela McClintock
'Avengers: Infinity War' Release Date Moves Up One Week to April
Marvel Studios and Disney's biggest superhero mashup yet is hitting North American theaters earlier than expected.
Avengers: Infinity War will now unfurl April 27, a week before its earlier launch date of May 4. In other words, the summer box office will kick off earlier than expected (the first weekend in May is historically considered the official start of the summer season).
The move means that the comic book blockbuster, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, will open day-and-date around the globe, reducing the possibility of spoilers marring the experience for North American audiences. Marvel president Kevin Feige has said the film will have big ramifications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so much so that the title for 2019's Avengers 4 has not yet been revealed, as the name itself would be a spoiler.
As a rule, Marvel summer pics that stake out the early May date in the U.S. generally open a week earlier overseas for competitive reasons.
Infinity War reunites the Avengers gang and friends, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), as they join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy crew to stop the evil intergalactic despot Thanos (Josh Brolin).
The movie will open in the wake of the staggering success of Marvel and Disney's Black Panther, which is on the verge of crossing the $800 million mark at the global box office. Black Panther stars Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright and Winston Duke also appear in Infinity War, the third outing in the Avengers series. Other characters from the MCU making a play include Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Bradley Cooper are some of the stars from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise appearing in Infinity War.
Films already set to open over the April 27 weekend include the female-fueled comedy I Feel Pretty, starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams and Emily Ratajkowski (STX Entertainment), and Traffik, a thriller starring Laz Alonso, Omar Epps, Paula Patton and Roselyn Sanchez (Lionsgate/Summit).