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More Super-Sized Movies Are Testing the Patience of Audiences

‘It: Chapter Two’ may have left money on the table with a nearly three-hour running time as Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ and other fall films require two-hour-plus sits.

Movie theater owners may want to consider resurrecting intermissions.

A decade ago, the top 10 movies of summer 2009 had an average running time of 116 minutes. In summer 2019, that stat soared to 125 minutes as Hollywood studios sought to keep filmmakers happy and lure audiences from their homes with supersized visual effects extravaganzas.

Avengers: Endgame, the summer’s top-grossing film and the biggest release of all time (not adjusted for inflation), clocked in at a whopping 182 minutes. And Once Upon a Time in Hollywood pushed past the 160 minute mark. In 2018, the average running length of the top 10 films for the full year was 132 minutes, creeping up from the 129-minute average in 2017.

“It seems that movies are indeed getting longer, and not just the more esoteric or epic historical fare that traditionally has gotten the long-form treatment,” says box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore.

In fact, audiences should watch their liquids intake “to sit through an entire film without a mad sprint to the restroom and back,” Dergarabedian adds, as horror movies (It: Chapter Two), superhero fare (Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home) and literary adaptations (this weekend’s The Goldfinch) strap viewers in for a long ride.

And there may be a financial cost. Over the Sept. 6-8 weekend, New Line and director Andy Muschietti’s It: Chapter Two opened to $91 million domestically, a 26 percent decline from the first It, which debuted to $123.4 million on the same weekend in 2017. The sequel ran a hefty 169 minutes, 34 minutes longer than its predecessor.

“Andy had a lot of story to tell in concluding his adaptation

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