Fans pick 'Avengers,' 'Captain Marvel' as 2019's most anticipated films in Fandango poll

Kim Willis

So, no hard feelings about that infamous gauntlet finger-snap that turned half of our favorite Avengers to dust.

Marvel’s superhero teamup “Avengers: Endgame” (in theaters April 26) – a sequel to “Avengers: Infinity War,” in which Black Panther, Spider-Man, Star-Lord and a slew of others were vaporized – is the most-anticipated movie of 2019, according to an exclusive survey conducted by Fandango for USA TODAY. The movie ticketing site polled more than 3,500 visitors who describe themselves as frequent moviegoers.

“There’s 10 years of investment built into this series,” says Erik Davis, Fandango’s managing editor. “Fans are dying to see how it ends.

“They were definitely happy with the last ‘Avengers,’ but it was a bit of a hard pill to swallow, as entertaining as it was. … Do they bring these characters back? This film is going to set the stage for whatever the next iteration of these Marvel movies is.”

Thanos (Josh Brolin) is out to smash superheroes and grab some Infinity Stones in "Avengers: Infinity War."

Those fans are also pretty pumped about Brie Larson in “Captain Marvel" (out March 8), the second-most popular film in the survey. Her fighter pilot/space warrior Carol Danvers will be seen in “Avengers 4” after the character’s introductory solo outing.

Brie Larson stars as the super-powerful Carol Danvers in "Captain Marvel."

So what does it say that “Star Wars” finished third on the list, with the as-yet untitled “Episode IX” (Dec. 20)?

“People are looking for a break,” says Davis, after getting “The Last Jedi” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” in the span of five months. But mostly, the excitement level is low only “because we haven’t seen anything yet” from the movie. “The first time we see 30 seconds with a lightsaber battle, that changes.”

There’s also enthusiasm outside the Marvel realm for “Joker” (Oct. 4), the DC Comics origin story starring Joaquin Phoenix in the role of “probably the most popular villain in comic-book movies,” Davis says. It ranked No. 10 on moviegoers' list.

“Fans are excited that interesting, unique people are making this,” led by "Hangover" director Todd Phillips, says Davis. “They are itching to see DC take risks and do things that are different.”

But the biggest winner by far will be fans of Disney, which has seven movies in the top 10, including “Toy Story 4” (No. 5) and live-action remakes of “The Lion King,” “Aladdin” and “Dumbo” (which finished seventh, eighth and ninth respectively on the list).

“That’s pretty staggering,” Davis says. “Disney on paper could have the biggest year of any studio in history.”

And those seven don’t include that rather bankable movie called “Frozen 2”: “Audiences aren’t even educated that it’s coming in November.”

Tom Hanks puts on the red cardigan as Mr. Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."

Maybe the most surprising superhero to pop in the poll: Tom Hanks was voted the No. 1 fan favorite actor, in anticipation of his role as children’s television icon Fred Rogers in the biopic “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Oct. 18). He'll also again play Woody in the new “Toy Story.”

“That he topped this list, over Robert Downey Jr., over Chris Evans, that’s a fun fact,” Davis says. “That just goes to show the love people have for Mr. Rogers, for Tom Hanks, their love for him playing that character. And maybe speaks to the fact that audiences are looking for that good-natured, good-hearted movie in their lives right now.”

Other findings in the poll:

►The women of Marvel and “Star Wars” had a lock on most anticipated actress. Larson led the field, followed by Scarlett Johansson (“Endgame”), Daisy Ridley (“Episode IX”) and Karen Gillan (“Endgame”).

►Fans have embraced the return of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, whose “Glass” – a sequel to "Split" and "Unbreakable" – is No. 6 on the most-anticipated movie list. “He was really big for a while, then lost his way, trying to navigate world of blockbusters that Hollywood tried to throw him into," Davis says. "He went back to his roots, built up his fan base, hooked up with (powerhouse horror producer) Jason Blum. Now he’s back in the top 10 most anticipated movies, back where he should be.”

Jordan Peele returns with his "Get Out" follow-up, titled "Us."

►Stephen King and Jordan Peele rule the horror/thriller realm, with “It: Chapter Two,” “Us” and “Pet Sematary” the top pick of fans. “The power of Stephen King, after all these years,” Davis says. “It seems that he has resurfaced as a very powerful tool in this genre.”

Here are the complete survey results:

Most anticipated movie

1. “Avengers: Endgame” (April 26)

2. “Captain Marvel” (March 8)

3. “Star Wars: Episode IX” (Dec. 20)

4. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (July 5)

5. “Toy Story 4” (June 21)

6. “Glass” (Jan. 18)

7. “The Lion King” (July 19)

8. “Aladdin” (May 24)

9. “Dumbo” (March 29)

10. “Joker” (Oct. 4)

Most anticipated actress

1. Brie Larson  (“Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame”)

2. Scarlett Johansson (“Avengers: Endgame”)

3. Daisy Ridley (“Star Wars: Episode IX”)

4. Karen Gillan (“Avengers: Endgame”)

5. Margot Robbie (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”)

6. Emma Watson (“Little Women”)

7. Jessica Chastain (“It: Chapter Two,” “Dark Phoenix”)

8. Lupita Nyong’o (“Us,” “Star Wars: Episode IX”)

9. Sophie Turner (“Dark Phoenix”)

10. Taraji P. Henson (“What Men Want,” “The Best of Enemies”)

Most anticipated actor

1. Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “Toy Story 4”)

2. Robert Downey Jr. (“Avengers: Endgame”)

3. Chris Evans (“Avengers: Endgame”)

4. Samuel L. Jackson (“Glass,” “Captain Marvel,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home”)

5. Bruce Willis (“Glass”)

6. Will Smith (“Aladdin”)

7. Dwayne Johnson (“Hobbs and Shaw,” “Jumanji” sequel)

8. Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)

9. Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

10. James McAvoy (“Glass,” “Dark Phoenix,” “It: Chapter Two”)

Rising female movie star

1. Naomi Scott (“Aladdin,” “Charlie’s Angels”)

2. Millie Bobby Brown (“Godzilla: King of the Monsters”)

3. Sophia Lillis (“It: Chapter Two”)

4. Cynthia Erivo (“Chaos Walking”)

5. Rosa Salazar (“Alita: Battle Angel”)

Rising male movie star

1. Mena Massoud (“Aladdin”)

2. Winston Duke (“Us,” “Avengers: Endgame”)

3. Noah Centineo (“Charlie’s Angels,” “The Diary”)

4. Finn Wolfhard (“It: Chapter Two”)

5. Richard Madden (“Rocketman”)

Most anticipated new standalone comic book movie

1. “Captain Marvel”

2. “Joker”

3. “Dark Phoenix”

4. “Shazam!”

5. “Hellboy”

Most anticipated animated movie

1. “Toy Story 4”

2. “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

3. “Frozen 2”

4. “The Secret Life of Pets 2”

5. “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”

Most anticipated horror/thriller movie

1.  “It: Chapter Two”

2. “Us”

3. “Pet Sematary”

4. “Zombieland 2”

5. New "Annabelle" film