“Spider-Man in the Spider-Verse” is hard to hear, according to viewers

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse released on June 2nd rave reviews and a box office weekend that just lagged behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie will be the second largest of 2023 so far. Apparently there’s only one thing that’s holding the movie back: people sometimes can’t hear what the heck the characters are saying.

Across the spider verse features an all-star soundtrack with guest appearances from James Blake, Lil Uzi Vert, Future, 2 Chainz and more. And as an animated superhero film, it’s packed with wild sound effects, frenetic action scenes, and original music that runs through almost every scene. Unfortunately, the audio mix for the film seems to have washed out the actual dialogue in some scenes.

Many fans during the opening weekend complained that they couldn’t understand what was being said, beginning with the beginning of the film when Gwen Stacy was helping to voice the drums (above IGN). “Everyone complains about the poor dialogue tone Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse!” tweeted the moviegoer mr3film, along with a summary of feedback from Reddit. “It was also a problem for me to watch it in IMAX.”

The problem appears to be nationwide, although some viewers report it was worse in certain performances and cinemas. “One thing I really admire about this film is the good work the writers and voice actors did when it came to the in-fight commentary and banter,” one person wrote on the Marvel subreddit. “I literally heard nothing in those scenes,” another wrote back. “The music wasn’t even that loud, the vocals were just so quiet when I performed.”

Some kotaku‘s’ own writers saw the film this past weekend and made similar discoveries. “Everyone in our theater has complained about the sound mixing. Sometimes the characters were hard to understand,” Zack Zwiezen told me. “One of the few times I wish there were subtitles in the cinema,” added Kenneth Shepard.

Funny enough, Across the spider verse Producer Phil Lord tweeted an image on June 1st He planned to send a set of special cards to each theater projectionist who played the film at “full volume.” “If you’re in the theater early and want a fun mission, have someone check that the theater volume is set to reference (7)!” He added one day later. “If it sounds a little quieter, ask them to turn the volume up a little to 7.5!” If they upset you, tell them we said it was okay.”

It’s not clear if this would fix the problems viewers are facing in each case, or just worsen them. But it sounds like lack of dialogue and poor sound mixing in some theaters weren’t enough to ruin anyone’s experience. Across the spider verse is currently at 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Update 6/9/2023 6:35pm ET: diversity reports that updated versions of the film will be sent to theaters. Sources close to the film claim that while Sony believes the sound issues only affected “a handful of theaters,” the company is still replacing “all copies” of it Across the spider verse. A source added that it’s not uncommon for a film’s distributor to send out altered or enhanced copies “when the opportunity arises.”

A great (and more drastic) example of this happened in 2019 when Universal basically patched the live action cats Moviewhich fixed some of the unfinished or ugly computer graphics seen in the film when it first hit theaters in December of that year.


Curtis Crabtree

Curtis Crabtree is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Curtis Crabtree joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: curtiscrabtree@24ssports.com.

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