Avengers: Endgame tickets were hard to come by in Phnom Penh this weekend as eager Marvel fans snatched them up in advance before the blockbuster movie was even released.
“We pretty much sold everything before Friday,” said an employee at Aeon Mall’s Major Cineplex on Saturday afternoon.
“People have been coming in all day to watch it and there’s nothing we can do for them if they want the full experience . . . most of them don’t end up watching another movie because all they really want to see is Avengers,” she added.
Major Cineplex at both Aeon malls and Golden Sorya were telling fans that Monday was the earliest they could see the movie in their IMAX or 4-D theatres.
Meanwhile, small-scale cinema outlet Movie and Chill 2 told The Post that tickets for the film in every available format had been booked well into this week. Still, although difficult, it was not impossible to get a seat to watch the movie.
There were still options available for fans who didn’t mind watching the movie in 2-D or 3-D, especially if they were happy to sit closer to the screen.
Prime Cineplex at Sovanna Mall, who dedicated four of its seven screens to the movie this weekend, told The Post that there were nearly 300 seats still available to watch Avengers: Endgame for its final three showings on Sunday.
Similarly, there were still a number of seats available to watch the movie at Legend Cinema in Steung Meanchey on Sunday afternoon, although the majority of the seats were closer to the screen.
The comicbook epic had the biggest global opening-week takings ever – raking in an estimated $644 million at the worldwide box office, according to online entertainment magazine Deadline Hollywood.
The movie made over 75 per cent of its gross earnings from the foreign market, according to Boxoffice Mojo.
In North America where hundreds of theatres remained open for 24-hours to accommodate movie fans, Avengers: Endgame surpassed another Disney film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, by taking an estimated $156.7 million on opening day.
The movie also smashed single-day box office records in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines.
As a result, Endgame has already comfortably recouped its $356 million budget.
“I wish I had thought ahead and bought tickets before the movie’s release,” said a disappointed Mario Ginevra, an English teacher who wore his Captain America t-shirt to watch the movie at Aeon Mall.
Ginevra said he would likely drop by Legend Cinema later in the day so he could secure a ticket.
Cathal Mahon counted himself among the lucky few. He snatched whatever he could get and was seen carb-loading at Irina’s Russian Restaurant before watching the movie on Sunday evening.
“We were really lucky, I’m pretty sure we got the last two tickets at Aeon Mall. I’ve purposely not read any reviews or watched any sort of videos. Going online is almost impossible,” said the self-professed Marvel nerd from Ireland.
“One of my friends was lucky enough to watch it on Friday, when it was released, but they had to buy the ticket on Wednesday because [cinemas] were already starting to [sell] out,” added Mahon.
Helen Vickers, Mahon’s date for the occasion, told The Post: “To be honest, some movies are made for the big screen and I guess this is one of them.
“We had to go to the theatre in person to buy tickets because we couldn’t even get on the website. They’re probably just not used to this much traffic.”
Some were less excited about the film’s release.
Yun Rasmey, a Cambodian-American at Aeon Mall, was overheard complaining to his wife about the film’s popularity while window shopping.
“Frankly, I think it’s a little ridiculous that in a country with real problems like poverty, AIDS and hunger, people are lining up to watch a movie about fictional people fighting fake problems."
“We have real problems in our country. Maybe people should consider giving money to a worthy cause instead of yet another superhero movie,” Rasmey told The Post.