This is a story about Avengers: Infinity War spoilers. It therefore contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.
It has become increasingly clear that unless you see a blockbuster movie during its opening weekend—or avoid the internet entirely—you’re going to get your moviegoing experience spoiled.
Film spoilers (pivotal plot points revealed) tend to emerge onto the internet in waves, starting as obscure references in news headlines before they grow more and more specific, until browsing headlines can literally tell you what happens in the film. Avengers: Infinity War provides a stark visualization of this creep of spoilers.
Quartz analyzed hundreds of Google News and Facebook headlines over the past 10 days since the US release of Infinity War, the biggest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. The weekend of Infinity War‘s release, many headlines alluded to a “shocking ending” that included multiple deaths of beloved characters. Days later, the headlines just went ahead and disclosed (or strongly implied) the exact characters that perished.
By the second week, headlines were openly discussing not only how certain characters die but what those deaths and their aftermaths mean for future installments of the superhero franchise.
This all occurred in the span of 10 days, before roughly half of the film’s global audience will see it.
Not everyone minds spoilers, but some are fanatical about avoiding them. And while most headlines do a good job of avoiding revealing plot points (or at least warning readers about spoilers), some are annoyingly lazy—or downright negligent.
Days 1-3 (opening weekend): Cheeky hints at a tragic ending
As the film was released, headlines were generally pretty vague. Still, they revealed that several important characters die, including some members of the Avengers:
- A Complete List of Who Lives and Dies in Avengers: Infinity War
- The end of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is so unexpected it’s leaving audiences in stunned silence
- The ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ ending is devastating – but the comic it’s based on provides a glimmer of hope
- Would You Live Or Die At The End Of “Avengers: Infinity War”?
- ‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Why you shouldn’t freak out about that death toll (spoilers!)
- This Avenger Has the Most Devastating Death in Infinity War — Here’s Why I’m So Upset
- Here are all the Avengers who just died in Infinity War – and why it might not matter
- Obituaries of the Avengers Who (Actually) Die in Infinity War
Day 4 (Monday): Thinkpieces unleashed
The spoilers seemed to calm down a bit the Monday after the debut weekend as writers delved into some of the film’s issues. But it wouldn’t last long:
- Does the Ending of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Spoil Itself?
- Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Was A Triumph Of False Advertising
- Avengers: Infinity War’s Elizabeth Olsen has a problem with Scarlet Witch’s costume
- Thanos May Be Powerful, But He Is Not a Very Strong Economist
Days 5-7 (the week after release): The spoilers grow bolder
The following week was inundated with spoilery headlines, many of which were oddly specific about character deaths, and other things certain characters did in the film:
- ‘Avengers: Infinity War:’ Kevin Feige Tells Us All About That Shocking Opening Death (Exclusive)
- ‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Let’s Talk About the Hulk’s ‘Performance’ Issues
- Infinity War: Can Spider-Man Spidey-Sense [SPOILER]’s Death?
- Spider-Man’s Heartbreaking Infinity War Moment Is Now a Meme
- Spider-Man’s Heartbreaking Infinity War Scene Has Completely Destroyed the Internet
- Everyone is disintegrating in this ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ meme
- We Need To Talk About Peter Quill’s Mistake In Infinity War
- Did You Recognize Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War? He’s a Well-Known Actor
- Zoe Saldana Shares Her Reaction To Gamora’s Shocking Fate In ‘Infinity War’
- Avengers Infinity War: Gamora star Zoe Saldana speaks out after shock plot (SPOILERS)
- Avengers Infinity War: Tom Hiddleston reveals Loki shock
- Is Vision Really Dead? ‘Avengers: Infinity War’s Finale Scene Left Fans Utterly Speechless
- Idris Elba Says He’s Going to ‘Miss’ Playing Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Days 8-10 (second weekend in theaters): Digging into the details
The second weekend, the huge, overarching spoilers (like character deaths) appeared to wane as writers—perhaps responding to google search queries—began picking apart the minutiae of Infinity War, like Thor’s new weapon and the meaning of the post-credits scene:
- Infinity War: The Incredibly Cool Backstory You Should Know About Thor’s New Weapon
- Infinity War: The Story Behind Thor’s New Weapon Stormbreaker
- A Marvel science advisor explains the physics of Thor’s new weapon in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’
- Avengers Infinity War ending: Who did Nick Fury call?
- How Does The Captain Marvel Pager Work In ‘Infinity War’? This Is No Ordinary ’90s Tech
- How Does Nick Fury Know Captain Marvel, Anyway? Here’s Their Whole Backstory
- Avengers 4: Will Captain Marvel TIME TRAVEL forward from the 1990s?
- Avengers: Infinity War End Credits – Captain Marvel Symbol Explained
Day 11 (today): If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go f#$% yourself
By this point, it’s apparently assumed that everyone who will see the film has seen the film (not true, as mentioned above). Film blogs and entertainment websites are showing little restraint about divulging major plot points in their headlines, without the courtesy of spoiler warnings or redactions: