Spanish cinemas have recovered pre-pandemic box office figures thanks to the new installment of Spider-Man. Spielberg and the Wachowski sisters will help from this Wednesday to increase
It took ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ five days to become the highest grossing film of 2021. Released last Thursday on approximately 1,000 screens, the ninth installment of the Spider-Man that we see in twenty years has achieved almost a million and a half Spaniards overcame their misgivings about entering a movie theater. The 9.3 million euros it has raised is equivalent to 80% of the box office. Without going any further, the comedy with Paco León and Miren Ibarguren ‘Mom or Dad’ is in second place in the ‘box office’ with 490,000 euros, far from the Marvel blockbuster that Sony distributes in Spain.
These are figures that exceed the most optimistic forecasts and that go back to pre-pandemic times. That last Saturday the rooms welcomed half a million spectators is an injection of optimism for a sector that has suffered closures and capacity limitations. One would have to go back to April 2019 to find a similar blockbuster, ‘Avengers: Endgame’, which amassed 10.2 million in its opening weekend. With the omicron variant out of control, it is not unreasonable to think that theaters are facing an immediate horizon of restrictions. They will adopt them when they offer on their card ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ and three other predictable hits that premiere today: ‘West Side Story’, ‘Matrix Resurrections’ and ‘Sing 2!’.
The remake by Spielberg of one of the most famous musicals of all time will serve to check if only the Marvel ‘fandom’ comes to the call of their favorite superhero or the adult audience is also encouraged to regain the lost habit of going to the movies. In the United States it did not, and ‘West Side Story’ hit the box office the weekend of its opening with a meager 10 million dollars, as have films aimed at tall audiences throughout this year: ‘ The Williams method ‘,’ Belfast ‘,’ Spencer ‘… The reason is not only that Generation Z does not like musicals, as observed by the magazine’ Variety ‘, but many do not understand the need to revisit such a popular film like ‘West Side Story’, which is part of popular culture and has leapt onto the stage thousands of times, from Broadway to high school performances.
Its fabulous success in 1961 flooded radio stations around the world with the score of Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics of the recently deceased Stephen Sondheim. This update on the timeless theme of Romeo and Juliet replaced Montagues and Capulets with gangs in the New York suburbs: newly arrived Puerto Ricans, the Sharks, and Anglo-Saxon children of immigrants, the Jets. The film adapted a theatrical hit directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, the film’s co-director with Robert Wise. Seen today, the plot sequences are bland and alarmingly kitschy. But ‘West Side Story’ has not gone down in history as a sentimental tragedy: Robbins’ dance scenes are memorable for their verve and energy. In them lies both the originality and the key to the success of the film.
Red pill, blue pill
‘West Side Story’ won a whopping ten Oscars, including those for best film, director and supporting actors (Rita Moreno and the Greek George Chakiris, with a blackened face to play Puerto Rican); only in Paris did he spend five consecutive years in the cinema where it was released. Throughout its 151 minutes there are amazing acrobatic dance sequences that have not yet been surpassed. For the first time in film history, the camera took to the streets in pursuit of dancers in jeans. Steven Spielberg and his screenwriter Tony Kushner have returned to the musical rather than the film to “reinvent”, as Disney’s promotional notes claim, the interracial romance between Maria (Rachel Zegler) and Tony (Ansel Elgort). Now the actors have Latino blood (Zegler is the daughter of a Colombian) and the racial and social conflict is more present.
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss return as Neo and Trinity.
As for ‘Matrix Resurrections’, the fourth installment of the saga can boast of having two directors at the helm who in 1999 were men. In their day, the Wachowski sisters took advantage of the visual discoveries of Hong Kong cinema and anime in amazing choreographies at the service of a story that drank from cyberpunk and in which humans are not aware of being in a world manufactured and ruled by machines. .
We are slaves who can choose between the red pill or the blue pill, just as Morpheus offered Neo in case he wanted to wake up. Keanu Reeves, 57 tacos, returns with Carrie-Anne Moss, 54, in a spectacular adventure more fun than the last two installments and with a point ‘camp’ in the action scenes, which have led some American critic to describe it as comedy.