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If, as seems to be the case, Avengers: Endgame will clock in with a running time of approximately three hours, it will not only be the longest Marvel Studios movie by some distance, but one of the longest superhero movies as a whole (though more than 30 minutes shorter than the current record holder).
On Tuesday, AMC Theatres and Fandango suggested Avengers: Endgame had a running time of three hours and two minutes, though both eventually scrubbed that time from their social media channels. Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that this purported 182-minute mark is close, even if it’s not the exact running time for Endgame.
With what we’ll call a projected 182 minutes (give or take), Endgame will be about a half an hour longer than Avengers: Infinity War (149 minutes) and Captain America: Civil War (147 minutes), the two most lengthy Marvel movies to date. It’ll also break the trend for Avengers movies — to be in the 140-something minute range; 2012’s Avengers was 142 minutes, 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron one minute less at 141.
The purported running time of Endgame is, in fact, so long that superhero fans could watch both 1989’s Dolph Lundgren vehicle The Punisher (89 minutes) and 1993’s animated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (76 minutes) and still have time for a bathroom break before it was over; alternately, it’s just about the running time of 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (92 minutes) combined.
Endgame is one of only three superhero movies to break the three-hour barrier, and the only one to do so on its original theater release; 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice only made it to 182 minutes on its “Extended Cut” home release — the theater release was “just” 151 minutes — while 2009’s Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut, which spliced in the direct-to-DVD animated Tales of the Black Freighter segments, made it to an astonishing 215 minutes, 33 minutes longer than Endgame’s purported length. Zack Snyder likes to run long, apparently.
And, yes, a 182-minute running time for Avengers: Endgame should feel pretty long — it’s literally an hour longer than the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and even more beyond the length of movies like Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (117 minutes), Thor and Doctor Strange (both 115 minutes), both Ant-Man installments so far (117 and 118 minutes, respectively) and both of Pixar’s The Incredibles (115 and 118 minutes, in order of release).
As a whole, the majority of superhero movies run somewhere between 120 to 150 minutes, with the 90- to 120-minute window a close second; Warner Bros.’ DC movies over the past decade have tended to run longer than Marvel’s, on average, even just factoring in theater releases — 142 minutes, compared with Marvel’s 123 — and it’s perhaps worth noting that the more critically successful DC movies, Christopher Nolan-Dark Knight releases aside, have been on the shorter end of the spectrum. Could the 10-minute difference between Wonder Woman and the theater version of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice have made that big of a difference? Perhaps not — Suicide Squad clocked in at just 123 minutes, after all.
None of these points answer the bigger question people have about the three-hour length of Avengers: Endgame, though: Will the movie come with an intermission? No other superhero movie has — but as is obvious, Endgame will outstrip the running time of the previous record holder for longest superhero movie at the theater (2012’s The Dark Knight Rises) by 17 minutes. That might be the all-important difference.
Avengers: Endgame will be in theaters April 26. Pack a meal, just in case.
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