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    Spidey Swings Back to No. 1 as The Flash Fizzles Out at Box Office

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    Sony’s animated hit “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” has reclaimed the top spot at the domestic box office in its fourth weekend, while Warner Bros.’ “The Flash” has crashed and burned in its second outing.

    The critically acclaimed superhero sequel, featuring the voices of Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld and Nicolas Cage, added $19.3 million to its North American haul, bringing its total to $316 million. Globally, the film has crossed the $500 million mark, making it one of the biggest hits of the summer.

    “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” follows Miles Morales, a teenager who gains spider-like abilities after being bitten by a radioactive spider. He discovers that he is not the only Spider-Man in the multiverse and teams up with other versions of the web-slinger to stop a villainous plot.

    The film has received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, earning an “A” rating from CinemaScore and a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2022.

    In contrast, “The Flash”, starring Ezra Miller as the speedster who can travel through time and alternate realities, has failed to connect with moviegoers. The film dropped by a staggering 73% in its second weekend, earning only $15.3 million domestically and $123.3 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $210.9 million.

    The film, which cost $200 million to produce, was once hailed by its own studio as “one of the greatest superhero movies of all time,” but has been met with poor reviews and word of mouth. It currently holds a 41% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a “B” rating from CinemaScore.

    “In another universe, ‘The Flash,’ once touted by its own studio as ‘one of the greatest superhero movies of all time,’ would be towering over the box office with ease in its second weekend of release. But in this universe, audiences are flat-out rejecting the Warner Bros. movie,” wrote Rebecca Rubin for Variety.

    Part of the problem is that DC’s new leaders James Gunn and Peter Safran have shared plans to reset the comic book universe, leaving films like “The Flash” hanging in the balance. The film also faced competition from other superhero offerings, such as “Black Adam” and “Shazam: Fury of the Gods”, which also flopped earlier this summer.

    “Audiences are making it clear which superhero film they prefer at the box office right now, as Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ has returned to the No. 1 spot in its fourth weekend in theaters while Warner Bros.’ ‘The Flash’ has suffered a 72% second weekend drop, the worst for the soon-to-be-finished DC Extended Universe,” wrote Jeremy Fuster for MSN.

    Meanwhile, Pixar’s “Elemental”, an animated adventure about opposites who attract, held steady in second place with $18.5 million domestically and $15 million internationally, for a global total of $121 million. The film, directed by Peter Sohn and inspired by his relationship with his Italian-American wife, has received positive feedback from critics and audiences, but had the worst opening in modern history for Pixar with $30 million domestically.

    “Elemental” is set in Element City, where Fire, Water, Earth and Air characters live together. An unexpected friendship between Fire and Water borrows from director Peter Sohn’s relationship with his Italian-American wife, which he initially hid from his parents,” wrote Lisa Richwine for Reuters.

    Another newcomer that exceeded expectations was Sony’s “No Hard Feelings”, an R-rated comedy starring Jennifer Lawrence as a woman who agrees to date a sheltered 19-year-old (Andrew Barth Feldman) in exchange for a car she desperately needs. The film opened in fourth place with $15.1 million domestically and received a B+ CinemaScore.

    “What makes ‘No Hard Feelings’ so sharp and funny … isn’t the raunchy jokes or the physical comedy (though the sight of Lawrence bouncing Feldman on her knee might be the funniest image onscreen this summer), it’s the savagery of the generational social commentary underpinning the script by Stupnitsky and John Phillips, and no generation is safe,” wrote Katie Walsh for Tribune News Service.

    Relevant articles:
    – Box Office: ‘Spider-Verse’ Returns to No. 1 as ‘The Flash’ Collapses By 73% and Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘No Hard Feelings’ Opens to $15 Million, Variety, June 25, 2023
    – ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” Returns to No. 1 at Box Office as ‘The Flash’ Drops 72%, MSN, June 25, 2023
    – ‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’ Swoops Back Into Top Box Office Spot As ‘Elemental’ And ‘The Flash’ Struggle, Forbes, June 25, 2023
    – ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ returns to the top of the box office in Week 4, Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2023

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