On Dec. 13, 2017, Marvel Entertainment’s “Avengers: Infinity War” trailer became the first trailer to reach 100 million views on YouTube. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) at BYU-Hawaii said the careful planning and 10-year build up to the film helped launch it past other huge trailer successes such as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
The trailer has broken a few records, according to Collider, which includes being the fastest YouTube video to achieve 1 million likes and being viewed more than 230 million views worldwide in its first 24 hours - this includes views from its video post on Facebook, Twitter, other YouTube channels that reposted the trailer, and other forms of media.
Eric Harline, a senior accounting major from Colorado, said the YouTube trailer’s success is due to the context and pay off of the film’s premise. “It’s been building up for all these years, and now … you finally get to see some action with this big bad that they have.”
Avid MCU fan Reece Gosselin, an exercise sports science senior from Maine, said the trailer’s success is attributed to Marvel being the first studio to produce an interconnected franchise of films. “Before the Marvel movies,” he said, “of course we had comic book movies but they were just here and there. … I think it has to do with starting with what we already understand with all the comic book heroes and building off of that.”
Not all fans were impressed by the trailer. Asked if the trailer deserved to be the first to ever achieve 100 million views, Brian Erickson, a hospitality and tourism management sophomore from Laie, said, “Yes and no.”
He elaborated, “Yes because it’s been something I’ve been looking forward to ever since the first Avengers came out. … At the same time, the trailer did not get me as hyped as I wanted it to.”
Erickson said he wished the trailer hadn’t shown so much of the principal villain Thanos, who has only been seen in the post-credit scenes of both Avengers films and in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” He said, “That’s a big problem with trailers nowadays - they put too much of something in the trailer.”
Nonetheless, he expressed feeling “overly excited” for the film. “I’m sure it’s just the trailer by itself. The movie’s gonna be absolutely phenomenal.”
Asked how the trailer was able to get 100 million in two weeks, Erickson said, “When I watched it, seeing all those characters come together - that’s never happened in any form. This is the largest franchise in a long time where you have all these characters from these different movies coming together for one story. They hype with that deserves to have 100 million views. Seeing that, I’m surprised it hasn’t hit like 200 million by now.”
Although “Infinity War” was the first to pass 100 million views, the trailer for “The Force Awakens” crossed 100 million views a few days later on Dec. 18, according to the video’s statistics on YouTube. The trailer hovered between 90-100 million views for over a year.
Fans like to watch trailers after a movie has been released as a free recap in order to prepare for a sequel or see what they notice after watching the film, said Gosselin, which is why he believes “The Force Awakens” trailer hit 100 million views two years after the film’s release.
Asked how “Infinity War” could do in two weeks what took “The Force Awakens” two years, Gosselin explained, Erickson speculated, “The Star Wars universe just got amped up back in 2015 with Episode VII. … This generation has grown up with the MCU rather than Star Wars.”
The biggest difference is what Harline described as immediate context. “Marvel only has a 10-year history, Star Wars has a 40-year history.” He said there’s unsurety with the Star Wars franchise, whereas fans know there are more Marvel movies coming out. “With Star Wars movies, we thought it was over in 2005.”
In addition, the MCU is able to appeal to different audiences because, as Gosselin explained, while one person may not like one character like Ant-Man, they might like another one like Doctor Strange. “Now that they’re all in one movie, everyone wants to watch it.
Gosselin attributed the strong connection between MCU films to the post-credit scenes, which are clips played throughout or after the credits of the film that usually tease an upcoming film. “It made you want to see the next one. … It culminated a cult following almost.”
The fans also said Marvel waited to do more unknown characters until it gained the audience’s trust, which has allowed the studio to achieve its current status. Gosselin pointed out, “Marvel started out with the classic Iron Man, classic Captain America, classic Thor. … They stuck with [them] until they gained our trust. That’s when they really started changing things; they started adding unknown characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and things like that. I think after you establish that, you can’t really do anything wrong.”
He added the company has also been able to take risks with the already established characters. “Like they did Thor, he used to talk like this ‘Elizabethan’ language. Now he cracks jokes, and whatever he wants to do they can do it because they’ve gained our trust.”
However, Harline said the MCU has not had a completely clean slate of films. “If you look at the early Marvel movies, ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America’ and ‘Iron Man 2’ weren’t that good.” He said he recently watched the first “Avengers” film and noted it feels outdated now.
But regardless of the lower quality the films might have, Harline said,“You have the context of Marvel building up all over this time to where now Marvel’s kind of got it down. ‘Doctor Strange’ was great, ‘Spiderman: Homecoming’ was great. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ was incredible. And then ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is just gonna blow it out of the water.
“I don’t have any reservations about Avengers: Infinity War being awesome.”
“Avengers: Infinity War” is set to release on May 4, 2018. It will reportedly feature 68 characters and is the 21st film of the MCU franchise.
NOTE: This article's online publication was delayed because of technical difficulties with the Ke Alaka'i website. We apologize for the inconvenience.