The Avengers making its mark at UAE box office
DUBAI // The Avengers has been playing to capacity audiences in cinemas across the UAE after opening today.
The local distributor, Italia Films, confirmed 7,000 tickets were sold for yesterday's advanced screening. Today, Reel Cinemas, Vox Cinemas and Grand Cinemas all reported sold-out shows, and local movie theatre executives say they are expecting the enthusiastic response to continue this weekend.
"The Avengers is going to be one of the biggest releases of the year," said Manan Kapoor, brand marketing manager at Grand Cinemas. "The first show that was open to public last night was sold out well before time.
"The phones at all our locations have been ringing constantly and tickets are moving quite rapidly. Most of the peak hour shows are sold out already. We expect a massive turnout this weekend."
The action film's all-star cast take on roles from Marvel Comics lore, including Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man (Roberty Downey Jr), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Captain America (Chris Evans).
Led by Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), the team must stop Thor's brother, Loki, from destroying Earth in a two-hour and 23 minute spectacle.
The blockbuster cost $220 million and only premieres in the US tomorrow, but in the two weeks since its limited overseas opening it has already earned more than $260 million in ticket sales.
Among those who watched The Avengers today was 10-year-old Janishq Munge, who celebrated his birthday with friends by going to see the film at Vox Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates.
"Iron Man is my favourite Marvel hero in the movie, I know all about him," said Janishq, who turned 10 on Monday but told his parents he wanted to delay the celebrations until The Avengers came out.
"He is really powerful, he is the toughest man in the world and the bravest. He can fight anyone."
Janishq's mother bought the tickets a week in advance to make sure he got his wish.
The young fan is even planning to wear his own red Iron Man suit to the screening.
"I like Captain America because he has so many powers," said Janishq's friend Ronit Kothari. "Some of my friends like Thor but he just has a hammer. Iron Man and Captain America are really the best."
The birthday boy's sister Rhea, 17, said girls were lining up to see the movie, too.
"I love action movies and I've been waiting for this movie to release for the longest time," she said. "All the superheroes getting together in one movie - it's an awesome, amazing experience. A lot of my girlfriends are trying to get tickets for the weekend."
At the Grand Cineplex in the Grand Hyatt, students from St Mary's High School left the cinema full of praise for the movie.
"What a film! The Hulk is the real star," said Mohammed Ibrahim, a Grade 10 student. His friend Hassan agreed: "It's an amazing film. There is everything in the movie: action, fights, drama and a great story. People should not miss it."
The students gathered outside the movie hall to discuss the film after catching the late afternoon show. "Tickets were not available. We tried at Deira City Centre, Sahara Centre, Reel Cinemas and Al Ghurair Centre. Everywhere it was full. Finally, we got the tickets to watch the movie in Grand Cineplex in Grand Hyatt. People are going crazy to see the movie," said Ibrahim.
Another fan, Francesco Gracias, said it is one of the best films to have been released in recent times. "A great film with plenty of action scenes and special effects," he said. "I would come and see it again. It would be exciting to see the movie in 3-D."
* With reporting by Ramola Talwar Badam and Fareed Rahman
Updated: May 3, 2012 04:00 AM