Kirsten Dunst’s help Mary Jane for spilling the beans!

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After a lackluster June at the domestic box office, the exhibition industry was ripe for a hit. Sony opened “Spider-Man: Far From Home” on a Tuesday, allowing buzz to build ahead of the July 4th holiday weekend. The blockbusters debuted two weeks after Disney’s “Toy Story 4” and two weeks ahead of Disney’s “The Lion King,” giving just enough time between tentpoles for moviegoers to make multiple trips to the theater this summer.

It’s no secret that I am a fan of marketing campaigns, especially marketing campaigns for “big” movies (Avengers: Infinity War, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Deadpool, etc.), that deceive, obscure and mislead for the sake of preserving the theatrical experience. Credit must be given to Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home marketing. The film’s boffo $185 million Tues-Sun domestic debut is partially due to a strong campaign that managed to not give away the whole movie in the previews and TV spots. Moreover, they used MCU continuity and an understanding of how online media works to offer distractions and red herrings to avoid revealing the movie in question. In short, they lied through their teeth.

Yes, I will try to avoid spoiling much in the way of what transpires in the Jon Watts-directed flick, because Sony went unusually out of its way to avoid spilling the beans before theatrical release. Yes, there will be one second-act beat that needs to be noted in this post, but I will offer plenty of warning and contain it to a single paragraph. Pretty much all of Sony’s campaigns for their previous live-action Spider-Man movies have been spoilery as hell.

The second Spider-Man trailer showed Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin dropping Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane AND Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man successfully catching her. The full Spider-Man 2 trailer was a beat-by-beat rundown of the movie right up until the big train fight. The first Spider-Man 3 marketing hid Topher Grace’s Venom and focused on Thomas Hayden-Church’s Sandman, but the later trailers and TV spots (understandably) let that third-act twist out of the bag.