Never mind Thanos – can the Avengers beat 87.5% at Rotten Tomatoes?

Sunday, 07 April 2019 19:46 EST

NFbets content overseer and lead writer Os Davis is now on the MacGuffin Report, a weekly podcast devoted to movies, tv and streaming content (especially streaming content). This is just as much a shameless plug as a notice of qualifications to write on the “specials” proposition bet “"Opening Weekend Score on Rotten Tomatoes for Avengers: Endgame.”

The over/under on this prop is pretty much exactly what you’d expect: At 87.5%, such a Rotten Tomatoes rating would rank it 11th among the then-22 Marvel Comics Studios releases – dead center if you don’t include the 2008 Incredible Hulk, which for many reasons we shouldn’t. Said list with each movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score *to date* runs as follows:

ThanosBlack Panther (2018) – 97%
Iron Man (2008) – 93%
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – 92%
The Avengers (2012) – 92%
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – 92%
Captain America: Civil War (2016) – 91%
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – 91%
Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014) – 90%
Doctor Strange (2016) – 89%
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) – 88%
over/under for Avengers: Endgame opening weekend – 87.5%
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – 85%
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017) – 83%
Ant-Man (2015) - 82%
Iron Man 3 (2013) – 80%
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – 80%
Captain Marvel (2019) – 78%
Thor (2011) – 77%
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – 75%
Iron Man 2 (2010) – 73%
The Incredible Hulk (2008) – 67%
Thor: The Dark World (2013) – 66%

But what do movie fans like? Actually, NFLbets does know: They like Marvel Movies! Geez, 18 of the above score a 75% or better approval rating at ’Tomatoes. Certain other studios would certainly like to see their superhero franchises snag such nice numbers., but such high scores across the board certainly make it damn tough to forecast where the next Marvel flick might land on the Tomatometer.

• Five of the bottom seven films on the Tomatometer list were released in 2013 or earlier, but two of the top four – Iron Man, The Avengers – hit screens in 2008 and ’12, respectively. And the studio’s lastest release, Captain Marvel, also landed in the bottom third of the table.

• The first Iron Man, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy have bettered all their sequels, but Thor, Captain America and Ant-Man were each topped by sequels; in fact, in the cases of Thor and Captain America, the *third* film in each series-within-the-series ranks best.

• As for the Avengers movies specifically, we’ve got two above the magic 87½ (the 2012 original and Captain America: Civil War, which was essentially an Avengers plus a few others not officially on that superteam) and two below (Age of Ultron and, perhaps significantly, Infinity War).

At this point, the reality should be getting quite clear, particularly to the NFL bettor: Betting against a Marvel movie is like betting against the New England Patriots. On top of this, notice that the prop covers only through opening weekend, and it seems more likely that positive reviews will be run up from the franchise’s most ardent supporters with prepaid tickets.

But, but … and NFLbets knows this is the Patriots and all, but just look at this trailer…

Dark stuff, right? Well, no kidding. After half the universe gets dusted – including many of the funnier and/or more popular characters in the Marvel Universe including Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, most of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Wasp – by Thanos’s killer snap, things apparently get as broody as Zach Snyder’s desecration of DC Comics heroes.

And if there’s one thing that’ll dampen the general enthusiasm for any Marvel movie, it’s a dark tone. Consider the bottom of the above list again, and you’ll find the first two Thor movies, the darkest Avengers movie, the un-humorous Incredible Hulk, and the first two films featuring the ultra-earnest super-serious Captain America.

Now NFLbets knows that resurrections are certainly in store for essentially every one of the dusted characters (strictly pragmatically speaking, plans ae already in place for Guardians 3 and Black Panther 2 has got to be in pre-preproduction by now), so Avengers: Endgame may not go out on a completely bum trip. On the other other hand, old favorites like Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk *could* be killed off (at lest in their present incarnations) before the final reels – and the demise of any of those guys could be way more bummerific than seeing Henry Cavill’s Superman bite the kryptonite dust in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

We might also note that, while expectations for this film are damn high, Marvel Comics succeeds pretty much again and again (and again!) despite such weight…

The last question, then, is this: Will Endgame fare just slightly worse than Infinity War among the Tomatoes-throwers? NFLbets knows we might be betting against the Patriots, but in this case the competition is also the Patriots. We’re saying take under 87.5% in the Avengers: Endgame Opening Weekend Rotten Tomatoes Score prop.