Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures have teamed with Los Angeles’ pop culture art gallery Gallery 1988 to produce an Avengers themed art show (sponsored by Visa).

After the jump you’ll find many photos taken by /Film photographer Alyssa Saucedo at an exclusive preview reception. I have included photos of my ten favorite pieces — I didn’t want to post too much because you’ll want to see a lot of these pieces for yourself when the show officially opens. We also have some shots of the “street” art painted on the gallery walls, a few crowd shots, including some photos of Avengers director Joss Whedon and star Clark Gregg admiring the artwork (see above).

And we also have some photos of the awesome Avengers-themed cupcakes created by The Cake Mamas (the 2012 winners of Cupcake Wars). I took a brief lapse from my diet to have half of the Thor cupcake and it was pure heaven.

There is so much great and unexpected art at this show, a lot of affordable prints and some really really cool originals priced in the hundreds. I almost bought Joebot‘s awesome Avengers record adaptation but one of the Marvel producers got to it first (and by almost bought it, I really mean that I debated about buying the piece before deciding it was more money than I could afford, and after I saw it sell, quickly changed my story to “someone bought it before I could”). One piece which I love is Fernando Reza of Fro Design Co‘s “Avengers Assemble” poster, which almost feels like something Olly Moss would have created — some really clever work connecting the characters through minimalism. Give it a long look or else you might miss many of the details.

I was invited to an early preview, but the show will be open to the public beginning on Thursday, May 3rd from 7-10pm for a grand opening reception, and will run through May 6th, 2012. This is the first show at Gallery 1988′s newest location at 7021 Melrose Ave, just across the street from their original space next to Golden Apple Comics. If you’re in Southern California, I strongly urge you to check it out.

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One of the most heart-wrenching moments in last summer’s Captain America: The First Avenger came near the end, when (SPOILER ALERT, obviously) Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) promises Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) a date that he fails to make because he sacrifices himself to save the world. When he wakes up in 2012, their scheduled appointment, of course, has long since passed. But according to director Joss Whedon, the pair almost had a better-late-than-never reunion in The Avengers. More after the jump.

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Does your summer vacation start early, or do you want to burn a personal day just as summer gets rolling? Then pencil Thursday, May 3 on your calendar, which is when AMC Theaters will run the Ultimate Marvel Marathon. For forty bucks (that’s $40) you’ll get to see Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America (the latter two in 3D) followed by a midnight screening of The Avengers, also in 3D. Read More »

Don’t Expect to See ‘Captain America 2′ Until 2014

Captain America may have been Marvel’s real hit this summer, but don’t expect to see the inevitable sequel until 2014. In part that’s because the first sequel to Cap is really The Avengers, which is already set to release next year. But Chris Evans, doing press rounds for his film Puncture, says “They may wait until 2014 until they release the next Cap. Marvel has a lot of balls in the air. They aren’t going to cannibalize their films.” Read More »

Want to see a gorgeous blond dressed up as Supergirl? What does Chloe Moretz have to say about Kick Ass 2? Which moment was considered the most shocking in comic book history? Where can you watch a new X-Men animated series? What’s up with that other suit Michael Shannon is wearing on the set of Man of Steel? How is X-Men First Class doing on Blu-ray? Can Kat Dennings work Thor 2 into her schedule? Is Nicolas Winding Refn a big Wonder Woman fan? Read about all of that and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

2011 Summer Movie Attendance Was the Lowest Since 1997

With Labor Day behind us and school back in session, summer in the US is officially over, at least from a cultural perspective. So it’s time to tally the box-office receipts from what has been the biggest movie season over the past thirty years.

The good news? Revenue is up from last year. The bad news: revenue is up by less than one percent. More troubling: after taking into account that a good portion of the overall revenue came from inflated 3D prices, analysts reveal that attendance was actually down this year. about 543 million tickets were sold this summer, which is the lowest number since 1997′s famous summer of 540 million tickets. (OK, perhaps not so famous.) But wait, there’s more! 2011 is the fourth consecutive year f dwindling summer movie attendance. Read More »

Captain America: The First Avenger is one of the most successful films of the summer, and a better Captain America movie than I think many people expected to see. The film will get a semi-sequel in the form of The Avengers, which next year will show what happens when Cap is integrated into the modern world after being accidentally frozen and assumed dead during World War II.

But a proper sequel to the film is being developed as well. Questions have been fired at Cap director Joe Johnston, Marvel president Kevin Feige and screenwriters Chris Markus and Stephen McFeely: what’s the story in the second film? Will it be a WWII tale, a modern thing or some blend of the two? And will we see the return of sidekick Bucky Barnes, who in the print comics continuity becomes a character called The Winter Solider?

Answers to those questions have been tentative at best. A new interview with Markus and McFeely has them talking a lot about possibilities for the sequel, but you’ll have to do a lot of informed reading between the lines to draw hard and fast conclusions. Read More »

‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ Review

In a summer crowded with superhero blockbusters, Captain America: The First Avenger ranks just below X-Men: First Class, and far ahead of Green Lantern and fellow Avengers lead-in Thor. It never quite reaches the highs of First Class or 2008′s Iron Man, but thanks largely to Joe Johnston‘s direction and Chris Evans‘ performance, it is a genuinely enjoyable film that gets right so much of what Thor and Green Lantern couldn’t.

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