Representing months of planning and a full week to construct, the Los Angeles Convention Center’s cavernous Hall K in the South Hall was converted into a massive cinema with a 70-foot screen and state of the art projection and sound technology for last night’s world premiere of Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame.
The movie concludes the Avengers story and follows 2018 blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, which topped $2 billion worldwide and is the fourth highest-grossing film of all time.
By building the custom theater in the convention center (which also housed the red carpet arrivals and after party), Disney created stadium seating for more than 2,000 guests–notably more than the capacity of the largest cinemas in Hollywood or even the Dolby Theatre.
“This was a huge effort and required the coordination of many moving parts under the cloak of secrecy – code names and all. With limited time in the venue, we worked around the clock,” said Michael Kern, vp of special events production at the Walt Disney Studios.
The ambitious installation included Dolby Vision dual laser projectors offering high dynamic range and the required brightness to fill the 30×70 ft. screen, as well as Dolby Atmos immersive sound.
It was a dazzling spectacle of this caped assemblage four days before it opens — the end of three phases of comic book films kicked off in 2008 by unwitting dice-rollers Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jon Favreau on the first “Iron Man.”
After three hours of cheers, gasps, and audible sobbing, the credits rolled.
Following thunderous applause, the cast and crew took to the stage, many of them offering up what appeared to be their final goodbyes to the Marvel Universe.
“It’s been an amazing ride and so moving, I love all of you guys so much. It’s been the trip of a lifetime, and what you did up there tonight was so beautiful. My brother and sister Avengers, I love you so much,” gushed Mark Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner aka The Hulk, after a three-hour screening that saw possibly as many sniffles as it did rousing calls from the audience
“I have a lot of my friends and family here tonight, and a lot of them are right up here,” said Captain America Chris Evans. “We have this bond that transcends what we do for a living … I cried like six times tonight.”
Scarlett Johansson, who has played the lethal and empowered Black Widow for a decade, was overcome by the “beautiful, open-minded people” she got to work with.
Jeremy Renner, the bow-and-arrow wielding Hawkeye, went down a line expressing love to people including Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and the “Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
Chris Hemsworth, who plays the beloved Thor, resented speaking last but expressed the same affection for his castmates and shouted out his family — brothers Luke and Liam, and sister-in-law Miley Cyrus.
The man of the hour, the first Avenger (at the cinema, anyway) was Robert Downey Jr.
The on-screen Tony Stark arrived true to form in a sleek Audi, suited and in shades with wife Susan Downey.
After the carpet, the actor changed into jeans and a hoodie.
Disney CEO Bob Iger singled out the star ahead of the screening.
Downey, clutching a child actor from the film, looked out onto the crowd and said, “We’ve got a lot of parties and after parties to get to, so we’re just going to say we love you.”
WATCH AVENGERS: ENDGAME RED CARPET PREMIERE
Hundreds of fans who had camped out for days in cosplay chanted and screamed from behind barriers in the vast lobby, where a circular red carpet was constructed around a giant purple letter “A,” the Avengers logo, which rotated on a platform.
Paltrow told Variety she remembered the day she got the call to come on board.
She was in London when Jon Favreau rang.
“I thought, ‘Really, you want me to be in this movie?’ He explained that he really wanted, what he considered, great actors to revolutionize how people perceive these big-budget superhero movies,” said Paltrow.
On the center’s second floor, the studio spent a week building out a 2,000 seat pop-up theater on high risers, erected before a massive screen.
Stars like Matt Damon and Kevin Hart came just to catch the first screening, which opens Friday and seeks to beat its predecessor “Avengers: Infinity War” at the box office as the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time.
Tons of former and current Marvel stars were on hand: Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright of “Black Panther,” Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, uber-villain Josh Brolin, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tessa Thompson, Karen Gillan, Elizabeth Olsen.
In the end, Joe Russo directed more attention to Feige, who ducked behind the director as he spoke.
“None of us are here in this room tonight without one man, and his vision,” Joe Russo said as the crowd rose for a standing ovation.
Feige moved things along to the night’s only post-credit scene: “Now there’s a party somewhere, let’s go find it.”
Attribution:The Hollywood Reporter