Spider-Man vs. Omicron - WSJ

The best of web spinners took on the world’s most notorious contagious villain this weekend in theaters. The superhero won, with the bigg...


The best of web spinners took on the world’s most notorious contagious villain this weekend in theaters. The superhero won, with the biggest box office payout of the Pandemic Era.

Sony

and marvel Spider-Man: No Path Home wove a record web in its box office debut, totaling $ 260 million in 4,336 theaters to secure the second-largest nationwide box office opening of all time despite growing concerns over the COVID-19 omicron variant .

Monday’s final figure of $ 260 million is higher than Sunday’s estimate of $ 253 million to supplant Avengers: Infinity War like launch # 2 ever, unadjusted for inflation.

Abroad – where the new variant is even more worrying in some markets, and particularly in Europe – the film also made history, totaling $ 340.8 million – an increase from the estimate of Sunday of $ 334.2 million – for a revised world total of $ 600.8 million (excluding China). This is world opening n ° 3 ever recorded, unadjusted for inflation.

Young moviegoers in particular seem to be saying it’s time to live with life’s risks instead of trying to wage an Infinity War ordered by government health officials. New Yorkers, who have suffered some of the most destructive lockdowns of the Covid era, may be particularly ready to return to a reasonable balance. Erich Schwartzel of the Journal reports:

“Spider-Man” was created at a particularly difficult time for theaters nationwide. Multiplexes in Denmark have closed due to the spread of Omicron, although major US exhibitors have yet to make major changes. Any impending slowdown in theaters would hit theaters ahead of the week between Christmas and New Years, which is traditionally one of the busiest ticket buying times of the year.

Ticket sales in New York have not declined despite the variant’s spread in the city, according to data from Sony. Richard Gelfond, chief executive of entertainment technology company IMAX Corp., said the spread of the Covid-19 variant did not appear to have affected box office sales.

“The numbers speak for themselves – no one thought the numbers would be this big,” he said.

The quintessential US commander in the futile war to eliminate all risk of covid – while ignoring and exacerbating other risks – is Dr Anthony Fauci, who this weekend declared another Infinity War. The Federal Disease Doctor now says that, just like Spider-Man, people on airplanes must remain forever hidden. “What started out as ’15 days to slow the spread’ has now grown into permanent hawkishness,” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) Cracked in an email to supporters Monday.

As if the credibility of Infinity War commanders hadn’t suffered enough, now here’s a startling internal critique of the Biden administration’s Covid policy. Los Angeles Times Noah Bierman reports:

Vice president

Kamala harris

said on Friday that the administration had not anticipated the variants that have prolonged and exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic …

“We didn’t see Delta coming. I think most scientists haven’t – upon whose advice and direction we’ve relied on – haven’t seen Delta coming, ”she said. “We didn’t see Omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this horrible virus has been, which ultimately has mutations and variants. “

Was it news for Team Biden that viruses mutate? Meanwhile abroad, the infantry also question the orders of senior commanders in Infinity War. The Associated Press reports:

Thousands of peaceful protesters demonstrated for the third time in Brussels on Sunday against the strengthening of COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Belgian government to counter a spike in infections as the omicron variant sweeps across Europe.

The demonstrators – some with signs saying “free zone”, “I had my fair dose” and “enough” – came to protest against the government’s strong advice to get vaccinated. They also included Belgian health workers who will have a three-month window to get vaccinated against the virus from January 1 or risk losing their jobs …

The Belgian protest comes a day after similar protests in other European capitals, including Paris and London. Nations across Europe reimpose tougher measures to stem new wave of COVID-19 infections spurred by highly transmissible variant of omicron, Netherlands leading the way in imposing a scale lockdown national.

To avoid such protests in the United States, President

Joe biden

should demand that its Food and Drug Administration staff stay on a war footing and approve the promising Paxlovid treatment before they leave for Christmas – or make it clear why they won’t.

***

Speaking of movies and villains

Also in the Hollywood Reporter today, Tatiana Siegel and Patrick Brzeski report that ignoring the Chinese Communist Party’s abuses does not always lead to business success:

In 2014, when Warner Bros. recruited LeBron James to star in his Space jam Following this, the film was designed to appeal above all to the powerful Chinese market. After all, James was a huge commodity in the basketball-obsessed country, where his signing

Nike

the sneakers are done. Along the way, the future Hall of Fame avoided stinging the Chinese bear, even if it meant sparking outrage when he slammed Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in 2019 for tweeting his support. to protesters in Hong Kong, calling him “uninformed” – a notable move given James’ vocal stance on issues of police brutality and former President Trump’s so-called travel ban for Muslims. At the time, videos of police crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement were circulating widely despite it being well reported that more than a million Uyghur Muslims were being held in internment camps.

Despite attempts to overtake Chinese censors, Space Jam: a new legacy never received a release in China this summer and only scored $ 162.8 million worldwide – an average figure even given the coronavirus pandemic. Always, Space jam was not alone.

Disney

received the same cold shoulder when it comes to its Marvel tent poles Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings and the eternal, films built around Chinese talents in order to make a giant projection on the market. But in vain. Neither of the films have been shown in the country which continues to be hot for reported human rights violations. Hollywood’s silence on these abuses grew deafening as other industries and entities began to confront China.

***

Another big problem with build back better

Andrew Duehren of the Journal reports from Washington:

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., NY) said Democrats would move forward early next year with a vote on the roughly $ 2 trillion package for education, the health care and the climate, as Senator Joe Manchin again said he would not be pressured to support the bill …

“The Senate will actually be reviewing the Build Back Better Act very early in the New Year so that every member of that body has an opportunity to make their position known in the Senate, and not just on television,” Schumer said. wrote, in reference to Mr Manchin’s appearance on Fox News on Sunday in which he announced his position.

Mr Schumer’s statement raised the possibility that the centerpiece of the Democrats’ economic agenda … fails in the Senate.

Mr Schumer can see that a number of fellow Democrats are unwilling to take this vote though, as expected, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) And Bernie Sanders (socialist, Vermont) sign arrangements to give yourself a tax break. These lawmakers negotiated a potential increase in the National and Local Tax Deduction (SALT). But not all Senate Democrats agree.

Abby vesoulis recently reported for the time :

Indeed, raising the limit on SALT deductions from $ 10,000 to $ 80,000, as prescribed by the House of Commons version of the BBB, would disproportionately help taxpayers wealthy enough to benefit from the breakdown of their federal tax deductions. , that is, the fifth richest among Americans. According to a November analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the higher SALT cap would primarily benefit the richest 20% of taxpayers, and three-quarters of the profits would go to the richest 5% … they raise the SALT cap, the second most expensive piece of a bill designed to support American working families would be tax relief for coastal elites …

“Our priorities should be to ensure that families have affordable child care, our priority should be to make sure that we have paid family and medical leave and that it makes sense,” TIME told TIME Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado who is also leading the negotiations. “To the extent that we’re spending money on regressive tax policy, like SALT, I think it diminishes our ability to do these other things… I think it raises the question of what our priorities really are. “

***

Good guy with a gun
Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas reports for the Chicago Tribune:

Two Rottweilers who attacked a jogger in St. Charles died after the owner of the dogs and a man who intervened tried unsuccessfully to remove the animals from the woman until the man, who has a permit to carry concealed, shot one of the dogs, according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.

***

Good guy with a script
“Nick Offerman says he was constantly given extra bacon in restaurants after playing Ron Swanson,” Daily Caller, November 19

Where are the good guys?
“1,140 cars were stolen in November across Portland. Mine was one of them ”, Willamette Week, December 15

The American Founders as Villains
“The malicious and historically illiterate 1619 Project continues to unfold,” George Will in the Washington Post, December 17th

Listen to the science
“The CDC’s faulty case for wearing masks in school”, The Atlantic, December 16

Fact check: true
“NJ Quarantines Too Many Students, Says Lawmaker”, NJ.com, December 19

***

James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China, and the American Renewal. “

***

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***

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