Taylor Swift returns! Avengers fighting for the fate of the Universe! An epic battle on Game of Thrones! In the increasingly niche oriented world of pop culture, three events defied the odds simultaneously to bring everyone together. There will still be big movie releases and album drops. But never will we see three mega-events coincide like this again.
Take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment.
Time & Again
Of course the biggest was the release of Avengers: Endgame. The film kicked off its record breaking run by making $1.2 BILLION worldwide in its first weekend. The only way it could have made money faster would have been to have Thanos snap his fingers.
Everything in the MCU has led up to this. The way the film plays with time will have us going back to watch previous films to see if we can tell a difference in the way some characters behaved in relation to how we saw things play out in Endgame. The final battle was a who’s who of superheroes. It was shot perfectly, written with all the heart that is characteristic of the MCU, and acted brilliantly.
Fans are thrilled, and will spend the next couple of weeks going to see it again and pick up on all the details they missed the first time around.
When I first heard Taylor Swift was dropping new music the same day Endgame hit theaters, I thought she was crazy. The movie was going to suck up all the oxygen in the room and she’d get lost in the Avenger Insanity.
I was wrong!
She ran a brilliant PR campaign leading up to the release, dropping more Easter Eggs than the eponymous bunny! And it paid off! Billboard reported that the video broke the record for most views by a solo artist in a 24 hour period, at 65.2 million. Maybe people watched it on their phones while waiting for Endgame to start!
The song will also debut at number one on the charts this weekend. Music is more splintered and niche than even television. So for T-Swift to be able to grab our attention and smash record with authority is a feat that is incredibly amazing.
And we cap the weekend off with the long-awaited Battle of Winterfell on Game of Thrones. While this isn’t the season debut or the series finale, it may be the most anticipated episode of the year.
The hype was definitely on point. The action was incredible, well paced, and heartbreaking. The director made a bold choice to shoot the up close, hand-to-hand combat on close and medium close shots, keeping the audience unsteady and unsure as to how the individual battles were going. He should win the EMMY for directing.
Trifecta of Treats
With TV, movies, and especially music all becoming more specialized, fewer and fewer things have mass appeal. And that’s great. People are entertained at a higher level. The downside is: they have fewer people to share it with. Everyone’s finding their tribe on the internet and they can wax philosophic about their passions with like-minded people.
What makes this weekend so special is not only did we have something that has everyone talking, it’s that we have three things that have everyone talking (or singing).
We will never have a weekend like this again. Endgame may never be repeated. Taylor Swifts don’t grow on trees. And once Game of Thrones wraps next month, there won’t be any one particular show making a huge cultural impact. Something will come along, eventually. But it could be a long wait.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Grog. But if that’s not readily available, a box of red blend. It would be similar to what they were drinking out of the pitchers in the castle, on the eve of the Battle of Winterfell.
Like the Night King, Jon Snow et al, and the army at King’s Landing, three pop culture forces collided this weekend. Unlike in Game of Thrones, everyone turned out to be a winner!