This weekend, the box office found a new king in superhero flick The Avengers, which had the biggest opening weekend in history, earning at least $200.3 million — thanks to an exceptionally strong sunday, it is now projected to bring in $207.1 million, easily topping Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2's previous record of $169.1 million.
If you didn't rush out to see The Avengers this weekend, we hope those numbers have convinced you to give it a chance. But just in case the film's status as a mega blockbuster hit isn't enough to win you over, here are five reasons you should drop everything and run to the nearest theater right now.
1. It Appeals to Everyone: This movie isn't just for comic-book super fans. According to The Wrap, the audience was split 50-50 between viewers over and under 25. 40% of the audience was female. 55% percent was couples, 21% teens. The point is, no matter who you are, people like you are swarming in droves to see this movie, and reactions have generally been super positive. So why not give it a chance?
2. Great Banter and Team Building: At the center of the story are the six superheroes who make up the Avengers team: Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, the Black Widow, and Hawkeye. That seems like a lot of big characters to juggle, but writer/director Joss Whedon, the mastermind behind cult hit TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, has an unparalleled genius for building seamless group dynamics. In just two and a half hours, he believably moves the team from a disparate and distrustful association of egos to an unstoppable fighting force. And he keeps the laughs coming while he does it with his patented brand of laugh-out-loud banter.
3. Fantastic Action Sequences: Something else Avengers does well is action. It uses its huge cast to great effect in the action sequences, making sure to constantly vary the fighting teams; every scene is new and engaging in a different way. This is a popcorn flick at its finest: The action is shiny and fun, not dark and gritty. There's a lot of death, but it doesn't get too graphic — the emphasis is on our heros' cool tricks, not the blood and gore. Sometimes, that's exactly what you want.
4. Black Widow: Joss Whedon is known for writing some of the coolest kick-butt action heroines around, and he didn't disappoint here. Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff (aka the Black Widow) is one of the highlights of the film. An anti-hero spy with a bloody history and a craving for redemption, her arc is put front and center, as are her awesome fighting skills. We can't wait until she gets her own movie.
5. The Hulk: They tried to make a Hulk movie twice, and neither attempt was particularly successful. We were concerned that the character would be a liability here, too, but apparently the third time's the charm, because Bruce Banner and his big green alter-ego are a highlight of the film. Mark Ruffalo brings a skittish charm to the character that makes him irresistible, and the Hulk was played for humor perfectly; we never thought we'd say we adore this character as much as any of his teammates, but we really do.
Bonus! Hot Characters: In case our other reasons didn't win you over, here's the shallow logic: This film is jam-packed with hot characters. From Robert Downey Jr.'s snarky Tony Stark (Iron Man) to Chris Evans's earnestly adorable Steve Rogers (Captain America), there's man candy to suit every taste. And for those of you who prefer the ladies, Scarlett Johansson and How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders both rock tight-fitting uniforms that leave little to the imagination.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.