Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame star Mark Ruffalo indirectly addressed beliefs Marvel Studios films are “not cinema” when he said Infinity War and Endgame drew an unprecedented level of emotional response from moviegoers. When promoting new movie Dark Waters on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Bruce Banner-slash-Hulk star recalled taking his son and his son’s friends to a showing of Infinity War, which ends with half of Earth’s mightiest heroes erased from existence by Thanos (Josh Brolin). According to Ruffalo, that showing of Infinity War inspired threats of riot over its cliffhanger ending.
“I went out to Connecticut, my son’s in boarding school, I went out there, got all his friends that we could fit into the car… and I put a hoodie on, like them, so it was me in my little hoodie and ten kids in their hoodies. I snuck in, I sat down, the place was packed,” Ruffalo recounted. “We watch the movie. It ends, everyone disappears. Some kid jumps up on the back of his chair a few rows back, tears his shirt off, he’s like, ‘What is this? This is so messed up, man! Let’s riot, let’s tear this place apart!’”
“These kids, they’re all crying,” Ruffalo added. “And my hoodie just got littler and littler.”
Asked if he’s surprised by the “emotionality” surrounding Marvel’s filmography, Ruffalo said he’s “never” seen such emotional reactions to any movie.
“For those people, I would only say this: I have been to a lot of movies. I have even might have participated in some of those movies. I have watched those movies, I have never in my life seen the emotional response in a movie that I did in those two premieres, those two screenings,” Ruffalo said. “All these kids were bawling, crying, freaking out in the car. And that’s real emotion, I think.”
When asked directly about Scorsese’s commentary at the Hollywood Film Awards earlier in November, where the $2.79 billion-grossing Endgame was honored with the best blockbuster award, Ruffalo told Entertainment Tonight that Endgame is “a homage to the cinema that he’s created in the past.”
With Endgame, Marvel Studios “did something that brought the whole world together,” Ruffalo said onstage when accepting the award alongside Marvel Studios’ Executive Vice President of Production Victoria Alonso and president Kevin Feige.
“It’s not something you can do with just spectacle alone, by the way, but there’s plenty of that,” Ruffalo continued. “What really speaks to people about these movies, I think, is the heart and humanity of characters, that’s what makes Avengers: Endgame so powerful to witness — these characters that care about and reckon with the world around them ... to watch them struggle and survive and sometimes even say goodbye. That’s what makes it cinema.”