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  • Moviegoers sit and wait hours in advance for a chance to purchase tickets to the 9:15 p.m. showing of The Avengers at Chunky's Cinema and Pub in Nashua Friday, May 04, 2012. The 8:25 showing of the film had not begun before lines began to fill for the next show. Staff photo by William Wrobel
  • A moviegoes holds a ticket for the 8:25 p.m. showing of The Avengers Friday, May 04, 2012. Tickets for the show sold out hours prior and left many hopeful viewers waiting in line for the next showing. Staff photo by William Wrobel
  • Chris Hemsworth stars as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America in "The Avengers." (Marvel/MCT)

  • Scarlett Johansson stars as Black Widow in "The Avengers." (Marvel/MCT)
  • "Marvel's The Avengers" stars Loki (Tom Hiddleston, center). (Courtesy Zade Rosenthal/MCT)
Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fans pack Nashua cinemas for ‘Avengers’ blockbuster

After waiting a year – or 40 – for “Marvel’s The Avengers” to finally hit the big screen, local fans had little trouble waiting another few hours Friday night.

Dozens of fans waited anxiously for two hours or more Friday at Chunky’s Cinema Pub in Nashua for a chance to see their favorite superheroes side by side in “The Avengers,” which soared into theaters this weekend to rave reviews and heavy expectations.

The theater’s 8:25 p.m. show sold out hours beforehand, and by 8 p.m., the line for the 9:15 show was already spilling out the door.

“It’s definitely worth it. It’s going to be awesome,” said Greg Mannion, 12, of Hudson, who brought his father and his 10-year-old sister to see the show.

“I remember The Avengers from when I was a kid,” added Greg’s dad, Don, who grew up watching the cartoon show. “It’s a chance to relive the old days.”

The blockbuster film, featuring classic comic book characters Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America, among others, has been one of the most anticipated movies since producers announced the plans several years ago.

Marvel Comics premiered the series in 1963.

“They were really popular when I was young. My friends read them,” said Schniede Kersche, of Manchester, who brought his two children to the movie.

But the series has found a new generation of fans over the last several years, as Marvel Studios has rolled out new films for each of the major characters – Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America and Thor – in anticipation of “The Avengers.”

“It’s going to be awesome. … I don’t think they’ve ever done this before,” Paul Brogna Jr., 19, of Nashua, said as he waited.

“More good guys in one movie means a better movie,” said Andrew Farrell, 12, of Tewksbury, Mass. “I can’t wait.”

Not far across town, things remained quiet at the Comic Book Store on Northeastern Boulevard, according to owner John Lawrence.

The movie, like other comic book films, has meant renewed interest in the classic Avengers comics and graphic novels, Lawrence said. But much of the interest came and went earlier this year when the first movie previews were released, he said.

“It tends to happen more when the movie is first announced or when the first trailers come out,” Lawrence said. “That’s when we get the most people coming in. … There’s been some since then, but not a lot.”

Back at the movie theater, the energy, and the line, grew as 9:15 p.m. drew nearer. But rather than debating whether to wait in line, fans made a game of it, debating which comic book character is the toughest.

“Who would win? The Hulk or the Human Flame,” Mike Albano, 22, a student at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, said, referring to the character from rival D.C. Comics, who isn’t included in The Avengers.

“It’s got to be the Human Flame. He could set the Hulk on fire,” answered Albano’s friend Rob Durham, another Daniel Webster student.

But Andrew Farrell, the 12-year-old from Tewksbury, offered another answer.

“The Hulk,” he said decisively. “He’s bigger and stronger and better. … That’s it.”

Jake Berry can be reached at 594-6402 or jberry@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Berry on Twitter (Telegraph_JakeB).