If you were on the Internet yesterday—and really, why wouldn’t you be?—you probably saw the news that Captain America: Civil War will be 2 hours and 27 minutes. That runtime means it’ll be Marvel’s longest movie to date, which is fitting for something Robert Downey Jr. is calling “the Godfather of superhero movies.” (That doesn’t explain, though, why Avengers: Age of Ultron was only six minutes shorter.) And with Suicide Squad, X-Men: Apocalypse, and the (even longer than Civil War) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice all still coming to theaters, 2016 will feature more aggregate hours of comic book movie footage than any year in the last decade.
Runtimes for some of this year’s movies haven’t been released yet (we’re looking at you, Suicide Squad), but even if the unknowns average out to about two hours per film, there will be nearly 900 minutes of movies to watch this year. For comparison, there were just eight hours of comic book movies released last year. And in the last 10 years previous, the peak was 734 minutes (a little over 12 hours) in 2014—the year we got Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. (See chart below.)
This is great. (More movies for everyone!) But if it teaches us anything, it’s that we really need to work on time management to see all of these films, and we’ll likely have to sacrifice other things we could/should be doing in order to watch them. (It also teaches us that Zack Snyder makes really long movies. Seriously, Watchmen was 2 hours and 42 minutes.) Think of it this way: If you can read a comics page every 30 seconds, you could actually read the collected Civil War run of Captain America comics in under two hours, less time than it would take to watch the movie. You probably couldn’t say the same for Watchmen, but it’d be close.
What else could you be doing with the hours you’ll spend watching heroes beat each other up this year? We’re glad you asked! In no particular order.
1. Read Crime and Punishment: 12 hours
2. Fly from New York to London—and Back: 14 hours
3. Handcraft a Cutting Board: 3 hours (give or take, depending on your skills and tools)
4. Binge-Watch My So-Called Life: 15 hours
5. Walk Amsterdam: 15(ish) hours, depending on how many…enhancements are involved.
6. Call Your Mom: As many hours as she can keep you on the phone.
7. Train for Your First Tandem Skydiving Jump: 1 hour
8. Learn Some Helpful Phrases in Spanish: 15 hours, más o menos
9. Watch The Wizard of Oz While Listening to Dark Side of the Moon: 2 hours
10. Listen to Serial Season 1: 8.55 hours