Chinese Marvel fans have been left disappointed after a red carpet event for Avengers: Infinity War on the outskirts of Shanghai filled up hours before the film’s stars showed up on Thursday afternoon.
Chinese fans swamp Disneytown for Avengers: Infinity War event
The event was held at Disneytown, a shopping area just outside of the Shanghai Disney Resort. The film's producer, Marvel Studios, is owned by Disney.
Organizers struggled to handle the crowds, while fans complained about an exhausting and confusing wait.
On Weibo, a Twitter-like social platform, photos and videos have been circulating since Wednesday evening showing a large crowd at Disneytown with dozens of security officers trying to keep people in order.
Some fans said they had received incorrect instructions on where to line up, while others said they waited for hours, only to be told to leave.
“We are now being surrounded by steel fences without water and food,” said Weibo user Yizhizhijing. “No one is communicating with us. Why are you treating passionate fans like this?”
Miwu1996 said she gave up waiting in line right before 2am: “Even if I wait for the rest of my life, they will not give me an autograph.”
Avengers fans in Shanghai have already started waiting at Shanghai Disney for tomorrow afternoon’s red carpet event featuring @TomHolland1996, @RobertDowneyJr, @MarkRuffalo, and Tom Hiddleston. This impressive fan came as Thor’s hammer. #AvengersInfinityWar pic.twitter.com/JqrSkck1Fd— Dan Entwistle (@danentwistle1) April 18, 2018
Marvel Studios announced on Weibo at about 2am that the venue had already reached its maximum capacity.
And on Thursday morning, the Shanghai police called for fans to watch the event online.
“We are all crying here,” wrote Haixiaodeqiqiqiqizi. “We arrived at 5am, but now they are pushing us out.”
Avengers: Infinity War will make its debut in China on May 11. Tom Hiddleston, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo attended the Shanghai event.
The actors all have large fanbases in China, as Hollywood steps up marketing efforts in the world’s second largest – and soon to be largest – film market.
Hiddleston has been given the Chinese nickname ”Dou Sen,” or “shivering forest.” Downey is affectionately called “Ni Ni,” while Holland has been dubbed “Little Brother Holland.”
A wave of sad and angry posts from those who didn't get into the venue made “Disneytown” a trending topic on Weibo.
But a few lucky fans did get to meet the actors in the end, after more than 15 hours of waiting.
Social media user Xiyuehuananyejiaoaisling said she successfully handed a Loki plushie to Hiddleston on the red carpet.
“I said to him ‘it's for you’,” she recalled in a Weibo post. “I feel very happy that I was able to talk to him and look him in the eye in this life.”
“Do these fans not have jobs?" asked Weibo user Kuaishoujintiandaobilema.
For some, the chance to meet a superhero comes above everything else.