Thomas Derrick’s bedroom is a smorgasbord of screen-used props from various Marvel movies, and he has certificates of authenticity for every item that he keeps in a large binder in his closet.

These include the red robotic hand Robert Downey Jr.’s character Tony Stark uses in the original Iron Man movies; the armor Chris Hemsworth wore in the first Thor movie; and a tesseract used in Captain America: The First Avenger. The tesseract, according to Marvel Cinematic Universe, was one of six Infinity Stones which "predate the universe and possess unlimited energy."

“It’s a screen-used tesseract,” Derrick said, explaining why he paid thousands for the clear plastic cube. “This is the main focus of all the movies.”

While others may not be as devoted to the Marvel universe as Derrick is, many are excited to see epic finale of a series bringing all of the beloved Marvel superheroes together.

Avengers: Endgame officially will debuts in area theaters Thursday night.

The final movie in the Avengers saga will play in AMC theaters in Jacksonville every half hour for the whole weekend, beginning 6 p.m. on Thursday. As of Thursday afternoon, many of the Thursday evening showings at AMC CLASSIC Jacksonville 16 and AMC CLASSIC Kalli 12 in Jacksonville were sold out, and several were marked as "almost full" for Friday and Saturday, according to their website. Premiere Theatre 7 in Kinston is playing the film in three of their auditoriums and theaters in Havelock and New Bern will also be playing the movie in more than one theater, according to their websites, which have some showtimes for the three-hour movie starting back-to-back.

“It’s going to be a huge emotional impact for a lot of people,” Derrick said of the film. He referred to it as “the biggest movie event of all time.”

Comics and booksellers 2nd and Charles are anticipating selling out of their Avengers-related products “quicker than normal,” according to Manager Tyler Ivens.

“We have all sorts of stuff for the new movie,” Ivens said, including T-shirts, Funko Pop! bobbleheads, wall art and graphic novels.

According to Ivens, the movie is a big deal because it is the final chapter of the Infinity War storyline.

It took 22 movies to get to this point, according to Derrick. Movies focused on the individual characters, such as Captain Marvel and Iron Man, have all been built around the premise of the Endgame confrontation — including the common thread of the aforementioned tesseract.

“This is the last of the big movies coming out as far as the original Avengers all together,” Derrick explained.

Many of the actors have announced they are retiring their characters, according to Derrick, and other characters have already been killed off.

But the most emotional aspect of this film, according to Derrick, is the recent loss of Stan Lee.

Lee, the creator of Marvel Comics, died in 2018, the Associated Press reported. He was known for having cameos in many Marvel films.

Before he died, according to Derrick, he filmed a cameo for Avengers: Endgame.

“This is the last movie you will see Stan Lee in,” Derrick said. “That's a big significance.”

Derrick explained that Lee was influential for many people, and Derrick said he learned how to read by flipping through the Marvel Comics Lee was responsible for.

The impact, according to Derrick, will be clear in the box office. It took him eight hours of refreshing his browser just to buy his family tickets to the premiere.

“I’m pretty certain it’s going to do a billion within the first week,” Derrick said. “I think it’s going to do a billion by Saturday.”

 

Reporter Maxim Tamarov can be reached at 910-219-8439 or mtamarov@jdnews.com. For digital subscription information, click here.