In most parts of the world, Avengers: Infinity War will release in theaters on Friday, April 27. But, there are a few countries which will see the biggest MCU film a couple of days sooner on Wednesday, April 25 which might, in fact, be a problem for Australia and New Zealand, a problem which led to some people demanding the cancellation of screenings itself.
9News has reported that a section of Australian fans have called for the cancellation of April 25 screenings of Avengers: Infinity War because they happen to coincide with a somber national holiday called Anzac Day. Since movies are typically released on Thursdays in Australia, some people have felt that by releasing the movie on Wednesday, Marvel Studios is planning to encash the holiday, in complete disregard to their sentiments.
To give you a brief background, Anzac Day is the national memorial day in Australia and New Zealand to pay tribute to all Australians and New Zealanders who participated and perished in various wars and conflicts and also to commemorate the contributions and suffering of all those who served. It is the Australian version of the American Memorial Day holiday, although, Anzac Day is a half-day holiday generally observed through commemorative services at daybreak and marches. The Australians take this holiday very serious and general stores and businesses do n’t open at least until 1 pm or later.
However, the movie theaters are permitted to open at 10 am and although there are some who are demanding the cancellation of Avengers: Infinity War showings on Anzac Day, the real issue, as the Australian TODAY Show entertainment editor Richard Wilkins says, the main problem is with the morning screenings.
“My issue is not that Avengers is opening a day earlier, it’s that cinemas are allowed to operate from 10 am at all, when most other retailers are restricted until 1 pm,” Wilkins said.
“I believe the cinema chains should show the respect that Anzac Day warrants and commands. It’s a day for solemn reflection and commemoration; one of the most sacred days on our calendar; and we should do everything we can to reinforce and protect that.”
Wilkins’ co-host on TODAY Show, Karl Stefanovic was n’t as kind, accusing theaters of exploiting the holiday for profit.
“Event Cinemas bringing the release a day early is a grubby cash grab to me,” Stefanovic said. “Well, grab your cash somewhere else. Exploit another day. Not what I believe is the most important day on our nation’s calendar. How on earth are our kids supposed to breath in the significance of Anzac Day? Please keep this day sacred.”
Irrespective of the criticism, a lot of morning screenings of Avengers: Infinity War on Anzac Day have been sold out, and the theater chain Event Cinemas clarified that the movie’s release date was finalized by the distributor and also that they have always operated on the national holiday.
“The release date is determined by the distributor,” a spokesman for Event Cinemas said. “We’ve always been open on Anzac Day. Our customers love to go to the cinemas on public holidays as it’s a day to take the family out.”
Avengers: Infinity War will hit theaters in Australia and New Zealand on Wednesday, April 25, and it will release in the USA on Friday, April 27.