Hype can be dangerous. People get so excited for upcoming projects that sometimes their expectations are not met. Lifelong fans have high standards for their beloved properties - like Avengers: Endgame, one of the most anticipated movies of 2019 - and a failure to live up to those expectations can be devastating.
Still, there are times when projects live up to the hype. The most talked-about pop culture projects of 2019 run the gamut, from the last season of Game of Thrones to the belated-but-still-welcome release of Kingdom Hearts III.
What are you excited for this year? Is there a hyped new show starting in 2019 you are super pumped for? Or a long-awaited video game, like Pokémon Switch, you just can't wait to play? Once you finally get to experience whatever it is you've been patiently waiting for, vote up the 2019 projects that lived up to the hype.
- Photo: Avengers: Endgame / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release: April 26, 2019
The Hype: Everyone and their mother was talking about Endgame as soon as the credits for Infinity War started rolling back in April 2018. Ticket sites crashed the minute the tickets went on sale.
The Reviews: The film was certified fresh with a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics said the film "rings purposeful, weighted with existential truth even as it flashes before our eyes." Expected to earn anywhere from $850 million to $900 million globally during its opening weekend, it made $1.2 billion, the biggest opening weekend in movie history.23343Did it live up to the hype?
- Photo: Columbia Pictures
Release: July 2, 2019
The Hype: The hype for the web-slinger's latest big-screen adventure didn't really get started until late spring - and that was by design. With plot details about April's Avengers: Endgame being kept tightly under wraps by the Marvel braintrust, that left precious little room for discussion about the first movie scheduled for release in a post-Endgame world. The key variable, as it turns out, was the death of Tony Stark, who served as Peter Parker's mentor, father figure, and usher into the world of intergalactic crimefighting (and time travel). Once that particular cat was out of the bag - directors Joe and Anthony Russo lifted their own moratorium on May 6 - the hype began in earnest, with attention showered on Jake Gyllenhaal's mysterious Mysterio and Peter's burgeoning, awkward relationship with MJ (Zendaya).
The Reviews: Like most Marvel entries to date, Spider-Man: Far from Home received mostly warm notices, earning a Certified Fresh designation. According to Salon's Matthew Rozsa, it's a "good movie that becomes great in its final act." The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday drew attention to the nimble way Far from Home navigates the repercussions of Endgame's events: "Both plotlines - Peter accepting the adult responsibilities that Tony prepared him for and finally getting on MJ's vibe - unfold and intersect with chipper efficiency."140Did it live up to the hype?
- Photo: user uploaded image3
Release: March 8, 2019, with select screenings the night before.
The Hype: Captain Marvel is the first Marvel female superhero to get a standalone film (Wasp co-headlined Ant-Man and the Wasp), which had lots of fans super pumped. After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, fans were anxious to see exactlyhow a set-in-the-'90s Captain Marvel adventure would play into the bigger picture.
The Reviews: As of opening day, Captain Marvel had an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics lauded Brie Larson, who plays the titular character, but noted that it is far from the best movie in the MCU. The film had a huge opening weekend, with an estimated $455 million box office worldwide.113131Did it live up to the hype?
- Photo: Netflix
Release: July 4, 2019
The Hype: It had been nearly a two-year wait for fans of Stranger Things, arguably Netflix's most popular creation - or at least the one with the most immediate currency in the pop-culture marketplace and commentariat. While Stranger Things 2 graced our streaming devices around Halloween in 2017 - and took place during that same time of year - the third installment of the nostalgia-inflected adolescent fantasy series is rooted firmly in summertime. In addition to building off two years' worth of anticipation, the new season also brings new cast members, including Maya Hawke (Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman's daughter) and '80s icon Cary Elwes.
The Reviews: Stranger Things has proven to be polarizing since the rapturous reception of its inaugural season, with both of the follow-up seasons drawing their share of heavy criticism and healthy appreciation. Rolling Stone's Alan Sepinwall argued that the film's "eight-hour movie" ambitions work in its favor, and said of the new batch of episodes, "In terms of spectacle, this is by far the most impressive season." The Ringer's Alison Herman was similarly impressed: "In a pleasant surprise, Stranger Things Season 3 manages to walk the line between conscious growth and mood maintenance, demonstrating self-awareness without puncturing its painstakingly re-created ’80s bubble." The New York Times, however, believed the Duffer Brothers' show is already starting to show wear and tear: "They built a great toy with Stranger Things, but you can still get tired of playing with it."60Did it live up to the hype?