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Avengers: Endgame -- Trailers, title meaning, DVD and streaming video info

Sure, Avengers: Infinity War was intense, but it's got nothing on the sequel.

Avengers: Endgame, which hit US theaters on April 26, had to be one of the most-eagerly awaited movies of the 2010s. It helps that 2018's Avengers: Infinity War was not only an enormous, $2 billion hit, but that Josh Brolin's purple-tinted Thanos wreaked such destruction in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Filmgoers had to buy a ticket to see which heroes survived and which gave it all in the service of the world.

To no one's surprise, the movie has turned out to be a super-powered money-making machine for Marvel and Disney, and is currently the No. 2 movie of all time at the box office.

If you haven't seen it yet, take your bathroom breaks before you take your seat. It's just over three hours long.

Wondering when you can see the film on home video? No date was released as of late May, but Amazon is already letting fans pre-order it -- just with no idea when they might receive the film. But we can guess: Captain Marvel hit theaters on March 8, and is coming to streaming, DVD and Blu-ray on June 11. So with an April 26 release date for Avengers: Endgame, we can guess at a late-summer release date for home video and streaming options. (The site DVDs Release Dates.com, which pretty much exists for this kind of fact, is estimating an August release -- close enough.)

Reviews are in

The reviews are now here, and they're mostly Marvel-ous.

CNET critic Mike Sorrentino writes, in a spoiler-free review, that "the Russos brothers' engrossing, wholly satisfying superhero epic ... doesn't leave a second to spare."

Critic Brandon Davis of CNET sister site ComicBook.com says the film gets off to a "slow, slightly convoluted start," but in the end, manages to not only meet fan expectations, but exceed them.

And A.O. Scott of The New York Times writes that the film generates a few "honest tears," and for good reason. "We've lived with these characters and the actors playing them for more than a decade, and even when the party got hectic, stupid or crowded, there was no reason to complain about the guests," Scott writes. "For the most part, it's nice to see them again, and a little sad to say goodbye."

Before the reviews were published, social media reactions started to come out late on April 22, and many are raves.

"Perfect blend of action, heart & humor!" tweeted critic Scott Mantz. "This is as good as it gets! Greatest superhero movie EVER!"

Ticket and home-release info

Tickets went on sale April 2, smashing presale ticket records, but because the AMC Theatres site was down, not everyone was able to get the tickets they wanted. Some later showed up on eBay with sellers asking for thousands of dollars. And ticket site Fandango reported on April 23 that more than 4,000 showings sold out.

This may be the Endgame, but it's not the end. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige is promising that while Avengers: Endgame offers a definitive ending to the heroes' current woes, it's not an end to Marvel characters on big and small screens.

Trailers and footage

Days before the movie hit theaters, the cast belted out Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire in a video shown on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, with Avengers-ized lyrics, of course.

When tickets went on sale, Marvel also released a special look at the film. In it, the heroes are shown still mourning their lost friends, while also trying to plan how to strike back at Thanos.

Before that, on March 14, an Avengers: Endgame trailer arrived with little warning.

It's a flashback-filled trailer, showing Captain America dreaming of measuring up to World War II soldier level, and also hints at the future, featuring the surviving Avengers seemingly preparing for something in white Star Wars Stormtrooper-like suits. (Space? The Quantum Realm?)

Now playing: Watch this: Avengers: Endgame trailer takes you back to the start
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A TV spot released on April 17 actually offered a little humor amid all the mourning and sadness. We needed that.

And here's a look at all the Avengers footage we've seen so far.

Where did we leave off?

In his quest to balance the universe, Thanos acquired all the infinity stones and zapped half the universe's population, just as he threatened. Many of Marvel's major heroes were among the vanished half of the population that just kind of ... turned into piles of sand that then blew away.

Now playing: Watch this: Avengers: Endgame trailer revealed
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So Avengers: Endgame was left with a major situation: No way are all those money-making Marvel heroes gone for good. But some of them had to bite the dust for sheer dramatic reasons (and because a few actors have talked publicly about moving on). No spoilers here, but the ending left some fans sad, and some satisfied.

What's with that name?

There was much speculation about what the film would be called -- for a long time, it was simply known as Avengers 4, and many feared that the real title would be a giant, gut-wrenching spoiler. Endgame was mentioned early on in the rumor game, in part because Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) says it in Infinity War, ominously telling Tony Stark, "We're in the endgame now."

The term actually comes from the chess world, referring to the stage of the game where very few pieces remain, which makes nice allegorical sense. In Infinity War, Thanos and the Avengers were matched in a giant game of chess, and then Thanos pulled out what seems to be a checkmate.

But the game wasn't over. Doctor Strange himself made a baffling sacrifice, handing over the time stone to Thanos, just as chess players may strategically sacrifice a piece to build toward an eventual victory. Moviegoers get to see how the endgame plays out, and which sacrifices remain to be made.

Meet the cast

This piece was originally published on April 30, 2018, and is regularly updated.

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