The News

Bilge Ebiri

Bilge Ebiri: “For a lot of people, ‘No Way Home’ likely represented a return to the movies after what had been for many of them a very long hiatus. Whatever the quality of the picture, I’d like to think at least some of these viewers felt that same electrifying jolt I felt earlier this year when I went to see ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ as my first film in theaters after many, many months. Holy shit, I remember thinking. How in God’s name could we ever think an experience this exhilarating would ever go away? No joke—for a couple of hours after seeing ‘A Quiet Place Part II,’ I entertained the possibility that ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ might be the greatest movie ever made… There’s still obviously a lot of work to be done. No year is a monolith, and this one is even less so. The box-office fates of films have waxed and waned all year long with constantly changing pandemic realities—be they related to vaccinations, variants, streaming availability, disposable-income issues, age-group concerns or a chaotic calendar. (And let’s not even get into how much the insane, constantly shifting release schedule has cost studios.) Up until last weekend, the general assumption was all box office this year had been soft because of ongoing pandemic concerns. Even this year’s other superhero movies —some released exclusively to theaters, some released concurrently on streaming — hadn’t done as well as many had hoped. But ‘No Way Home’’s gargantuan box office, which would have been eye-popping even in normal times, upended that thinking.”

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