Marvel’s Studio’s highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War will premiere in Australia on Anzac Day. While all other films are traditionally released on Thursdays in Australia, Avengers: Infinity War premiere is set for Wednesday.
The TODAY show co-host Karl Stefanovic has slammed Event Cinemas for scheduling the film’s premiere a day early on the eve of Anzac Day.
“Event Cinemas bringing the release a day early smacks, to me, of a grubby cash grab,” Stefanovic said to viewers (via:9News). “Well, grab your cash somewhere else, exploit another day. Not on what I believe is the most important day on our nation’s calendar.”
“How on earth are our kids supposed to breathe in the significance of Anzac Day, and the sacrifices, the great sacrifices, the impact on our nation, on our families?” he asked.
The Today host urged parents to boycott the film’s opening on Anzac Day and instead take their children to a Dawn Service or a local cenotaph to look over the names of dead soldiers. He admitted that he loves Thor, but the importance of Anzac Day cannot be ignored.
“It is on parents, take your kids to the Dawn Service, take them to the War Memorial in Canberra, take them to your local Cenotaph, look at the names,” Stefanovic told parents.
Entertainment editor Richard Wilkins also weighed into the debate and called out cinemas to push back Avengers: Infinity War opening hours to 1 pm, just like any other retailer.
“My issue is not that Avengers is opening a day early, 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 all do everything we can to reinforce and protect that.”
A spokesperson for the Australia Defence Association, which represents war veterans, said that it’s not fair to exploit the public holiday in this way.
Usually, studios take advantage of public holidays to open the film to a bigger audience. Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok was also released 10 days earlier in the UK before it opened worldwide.
With less than two weeks to go, Avengers: Infinity War is speculated to earn between $235 million and $255 million in its opening weekend. Do you think the release date or timing will be pushed back after the backlash? Let us know in the comments below.
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