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Le cinéma

Rave reviews may help Spider-Man deliver holiday gift to theaters – Reuters

LOS ANGELES, Dec 14 (Reuters) – The newest « Spider-Man » movie adventure won glowing reviews from film critics, and box office analysts predicted the superhero action spectacle would set pandemic-era sales records at cinemas this weekend.

« Spider-Man: No Way Home, » produced by Sony Corp’s (6758.T) movie studio and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), stars Tom Holland as Marvel’s web-slinging superhero and Zendaya as his girlfriend, MJ. The film opens exclusively in theaters on Friday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, « No Way Home » had earned a 98% positive score from 65 reviews collected on the Rotten Tomatoes website. Supporters said the storyline would please old and new fans alike.

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« ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ is a goliath that feels destined to eat the world, a potent combination of the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe and nostalgia for what came before, » said Esther Zuckerman of Thrillist.

Brian Truitt of USA Today called the film « a rousing entry that doubles as a love letter to the comic-book character, a film very much about second chances and a cleverly crafted reminder of that famous adage: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.' »

Advance ticket demand has been strong, a welcome sign for movie theater chains, including AMC Entertainment (AMC.N), Cinemark (CNK.N) and Cineworld (CINE.L) that are still struggling to lure back audiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The holiday season around Christmas typically ranks as the second-biggest movie-going period of the year, but recent box-office tallies are hovering well below pre-pandemic levels.

Cast members Benedict Wong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya and Tom Holland pose for a photograph as they attend the premiere for the film Spider-Man: No Way Home in Los Angeles, California, December 13, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Steven Spielberg’s « West Side Story » remake disappointed with $10.6 million in domestic ticket sales last weekend, prompting new questions in Hollywood about what it will take to attract crowds back to theaters.

First-day presales for « No Way Home » were the highest recorded by ticket seller Fandango since 2019’s « Avengers: Endgame, » the second-highest grossing movie of all time.

« We’ve worked so hard on this film, » Holland said in an interview with Reuters. « For it to be so well-received is awesome. »

Paul Dergarabedian, senior box office analyst at Comscore, said he expected « No Way Home » to haul in more than $130 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales over its opening weekend. A debut at that level would mark the first $100 million-plus weekend since December 2019.

« That will wash away much of the negative news that came before and hit a positive reset for theaters as we head into the box-office year of 2022, » Dergarabedian said.

Hollywood will closely watch this weekend’s results to help gauge the future of movie-going amid the rise of streaming television. Tom Rothman, the head of Sony’s movie division, said he believed the rush for advance tickets to « No Way Home » showed « people are ready to get back to the big screen. »

« This movie was made for movie theaters, » Rothman said.

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Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Dan Grebler and Sonya Hepinstall

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.