Spider-Man: No Way Home opened in theaters today in many locations, with other countries (including the US) releasing the film tomorrow and Friday. Needless to say, spoilers won’t matter for much longer, but the road to get here has been a long, frustrating, and leaky journey. One I wish to never experience again.
The official premiere Spider-Man: No Way Home was on Monday December 13th in Los Angeles. The leaks began pouring in almost right away. One would assume a film with this much secrecy would confiscate cell phones and recording equipment, but small clips made their way onto Twitter as the film was still being played. As this happened, a friend of mine who has attended Marvel premieres in the past was shocked that this could happen. She’d experienced strict protocols attending films with far less riding on it than this. So how the heck did that happen?
Over the next couple of days, clips (some as long as 10 minutes) began cropping up on YouTube. Sony was quick to squash these, with many citing copyright claims as a reason for their removal. But the damage was done. The details were out there. Screenshots of these clips are now everywhere. I can’t even look at trending topics on Twitter without these pictures popping up because Twitter’s algorithm knows I like Marvel, and thus it wants to show me everything Marvel that it possibly can. Twitter’s suggested topics shows all this to me even if I have a ton of words muted.
Thanks, Twitter algorithm robot. You try hard, but not this time please. Come on!
And hey, I’m barely even touching on the reviews from major outlets that outline every major detail of the film. Variety, who leaked Eternals news pretty much the second they stepped out of the theater, had a review up moments after the review embargo was over. The review discussed essentially every major plot point and surprise. It initially went up without a spoiler warning, but added one after severe backlash.
Despite the fact that Disney and Sony very politely asked everyone – reviewers included – to hold back on spoilers so people could get the full experience in theaters, outlets were quick to spill the beans. This is less of a leak and more of a bad review protocol, but still pretty terrible. The fact that the same outlets keep doing this over and over again is… questionable. I understand some of these outlets are mainstays in Hollywood, but this can’t be great for Feige’s blood pressure. Hell, it’s not good for my blood pressure.
But back to the actual leaks. This has been going on for months. Who can forget when the first trailer leaked literally minutes before its official premiere? And, almost simultaneously, set pictures confirming some major casting spoilers got out. While many cried ‘fake’ at those photos, keen-eyed leak-enthusiasts matched them up with confirmed scenes from the trailer (because of course, they would do this). That basically proved that this was, in fact, another major boo boo. Over the following weeks, more and more pictures emerged, and there was no containing it. It was an endless parade of leaks for weeks.
This whole situation has been spectacularly bad. If it weren’t for Sony actually going after the leaked clips online, I would think it has to be intentional. There’s simply no way this many mistakes could happen by accident! But then I remembered… Sony actually has a pretty long history of letting information get out that shouldn’t be out there. Sony makes some great content, but they couldn’t keep a secret if they tried. Remember when a handful of movies, including Fury and Annie, and other confidential information was leaked due to a massive hack? This seems to be an ongoing pattern. They just don’t know how to keep things private.
So what’s to be done here? I’m personally a big fan of the Sony-Disney team up with Spider-Man, and wouldn’t want something like this to force a renegotiation on how they share responsibilities. A renegotiation could make the whole thing crumble. I would personally like to keep him in the MCU, so I don’t want that to happen.
I’m not even sure if any team-up between the two companies will ever have this many potentially major spoilers again. Any other films or shows that need to be shrouded in secrecy, such as Multiverse of Madness or Secret Invasion, will be Disney’s responsibility. With Kevin “Master of Spoilers” Feige in charge of those, I have a lot of faith that it’ll be better. But if another Spider-Man property needs secrecy, they’re going to have to figure something better out. This just did not work.
As pretty much every big reveal has been put in front of me via social media algorithms at this point, I no longer care. The damage has been done. I’ll be seeing the movie tomorrow anyway, so if something somehow snuck under the radar, it’s about to really not matter for me. But this has been, to put it lightly, a sh*t show. It hasn’t made me more excited for the film at all. It’s just made it feel like a chore to avoid as much as I can before I get to the theater. For those who actually enjoy spoilers, however, this whole thing may have been pretty exciting. I am, quite clearly, not one of those people.
I doubt the current leaks will have a negative impact on Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s box office. We’ve pretty much all bought our tickets in advance and have our plans set in place to go. Besides, we’re obsessive fans, anyway. And this is the biggest film of the pandemic so far. We’re going and no leaks are going to stop that.
The film is estimated to earn $135-185 million opening weekend, and I predict it’ll be in the top five MCU lifetime earners despite the pandemic keeping many at home. Hell, if it weren’t for the pandemic, I may have placed it in the top three. From a studio’s perspective, this is all that matters. From a fan perspective, though, it still bothers me that so much got leaked. But here we are. The film is rolling out and we’re headed out the door to see it. It’s almost all over.
Stay tuned for an official review of the film here on The Geekiary this weekend. We’ll be sure to warn for spoilers from the outset, as is our policy. Be careful elsewhere online, though, because it’s the wild west of spoilers out there right now.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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