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Superfan Sees Captain Marvel 116 Times To Break World Record

There are Marvel die-hards, and then there is Steve Ruppel.

The Wisconsin man recently shattered a world record by verifiably attending no fewer than 116 screenings of the smash hit Captain Marvel. The kicker: he only needed 104 to break the record, but apparently tacked on the extra dozen viewings just for good measure. (via CBS 58 WDJT — Milwaukee)

Mr. Ruppel's absurdly dedicated act of fandom came about when he stumbled across the previous record, which even he admits seemed a bit unreasonable. "I thought it was the most insane thing ever, I thought it was impossible. I wasn't even sure why it was even a record," Ruppel said in an interview with his local news broadcast. "But I thought after a while, like, 'You know what? I should probably do that.'"

We've probably all had thoughts like that from time to time, but unlike the rest of us, Ruppel actually decided to pursue his record-breaking dreams. Of course, like all Guinness records, it wasn't enough for him to merely pony up ticket stubs as proof that he'd actually gotten it done; independent verification was needed. "To be official, I have to have certain pictures taken, like in front of a movie poster, and I have to have two written witness statements saying that I was actually there," he explained. We're just speculating here, but we're thinking that perhaps Ruppel's boss was one of those witnesses. "The amount of time that it takes... I've had to take time off of work, I would take long lunch breaks in order to accommodate watching an entire movie," he said, "and then, just, time on the weekends when I'm not doing other things." His maximum number of screenings in one day: seven, which — considering the flick's two hour, five minute run time — just barely seems feasible.

So, how on Earth do you maintain any level of interest in a movie after the 50th or 60th showing? Suffice to say that this man probably knows more about Captain Marvel than the filmmakers themselves. Ruppel said that he would keep an eye out for small details, things in the background, anything that he hadn't already caught, in order to keep from boring himself to tears. Case in point: do you figure that there's any Marvel fan out there, anywhere in the world, who knows off the top of their head the date on which most of the movie's action takes place? There is one, and his name is Steve Ruppel. We'll let him explain: "So, there's one particular scene in the movie where... in the background, there's a calendar, and it says June of 1995. And then, later on in that particular day, there's a full moon. So, at the end, I just Googled when there was a full moon in June of 1995. And it came out to be Tuesday, June 13." Finally, that burning question has been answered. 

Aside from becoming a world record holder, it seems certain that Ruppel has to have attained a certain celebrity status in his home town (Rothschild, Wisconsin, population 5,325), or at least among the employees of the Marcus Cedar Creek Cinema, where he caught all 116 showings. His record seems unlikely in the extreme to be broken anytime soon, but even if it is, don't expect him to defend his title. "I really don't want to re-break it, because it's been pretty tough," he said. "I don't think I'm gonna try this one again." Fair enough; we're all huge Marvel fans here at Looper, and even we would be feeling the strain after, oh, a dozen or so screenings (except for the scene where Nick Fury brandishes a cat at a gang of attackers; that would never get old). Which raises the question: out of all the flicks he could have picked to go for the record, why Captain Marvel? Well, there's an answer to that as well.

"I love superhero movies," Ruppel said, perhaps unintentionally setting another world record for understatement, "and so this was a pretty good fit. I knew it was gonna be [showing] for awhile, and I thought it would probably be a pretty good choice for this particular record... looking back on it now, I might almost consider a Disney movie, because they're usually shorter... but that singing would drive me crazy." With a chuckle, he added, "It really would."

Well, Mr. Ruppel, as dedicated consumers and over-analyzers of superhero cinema, you have earned our undying respect. We'll be on the lookout for the follow-up story on Ruppel's first viewing of Avengers: Endgame, and whether he runs screaming from the theater the first time Carol Danvers shows up onscreen.