‘Spider-Man’ Opening Breaks Pandemic Era Record, Brings Hope to Film Industry


Never underestimate your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, even with a mutating virus. Despite growing concerns about the omicron variant, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” not only broke box office records for the pandemic era; it became the third-best opening of all time behind “Avengers: Endgame” ($ 357.1 million) and “Avengers: Infinity War” ($ 257.7 million).

The Sony and Marvel blockbuster grossed $ 253 million in ticket sales at 4,325 North American locations, the studios estimated on Sunday, also setting a record for December. Web-slinger success couldn’t have come sooner for a film company that has been on a roller coaster ride in 2021 and could be heading for a rocky start until 2022 as the omicron variant of the coronavirus grows stronger event cancellations.

“The historic results of this weekend’s ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’, from around the world and in the face of many challenges, reaffirm the unparalleled cultural impact that exclusive cinema films can have when made and marketed with vision and determination, “said Tom Rothman, chief executive officer of Sony Pictures, in a statement.” All of us at Sony Pictures are deeply grateful for the fabulous talent, both in front of and behind the camera, who produced such a historic film. “

In his five days on view in theaters around the world, he amassed $ 334.2 million in ticket sales, bringing his worldwide total to $ 587.2 million against a production budget of $ 200 million. of dollars. The film has yet to open in markets like Thailand and Japan, and no release date has been set for China.

As the third standalone Spider-Man film during the Tom Holland era, “No Way Home” was always going to be an “event movie” for fans. After several delays during the year, Sony has planted its launch as part of the pre-Christmas setting, and by the end of last week it had forecast a better pandemic opening in the 130-150 million range. of dollars.

Corn it quickly became clear that “Spider-Man” was going to fly much higher. The film grossed an astounding $ 121.5 million on day one, knocking out “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” from second place.

Directed by Jon Watts, “No Way Home” takes on Dutchman Peter Parker as he grapples with the world to discover his superhero identity, and features Zendaya, Marisa Tomei and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. The promise of spoiler-level plot developments only added to the feverish hype that led to sold-out lines and screenings across the country.

“For the target audience, this is an absolute must-see viewing,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “There’s no way the fans are going to walk away because of omicron.”

Many moviegoers also paid the jackpot to see the film on the biggest screens possible. According to IMAX, about $ 36.2 million of the global total comes from its large-format displays.

“’Spider-Man: No Way Home’ is an exclamation point about the comeback we saw at the box office in 2021,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “With these historic results, IMAX continues to see blockbuster releases generating a box office equal to or better than pre-pandemic levels.”

And it wasn’t just the fans who gave the film high marks – reviews were overwhelmingly positive as well. It has a 94% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Holland on Instagram thanked the audience for the record number.

“You made it possible. Your love and support mean the world to me, ”Holland wrote on Saturday. “Thank you thank you thank you and if you haven’t seen Spider-Man come home yet … merry Christmas and you know what to do.”

Prior to this weekend, Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” held the record for the best opening in the pandemic at $ 90.1 million.

But it wasn’t all box office celebrations this weekend. In Spider-Man’s wake, there have been some prominent casualties, including Guillermo del Toro’s “Alley of Nightmares,” which only grossed $ 3 million in 2,145 theaters. It opened in fifth place behind “Spider-Man,” “Encanto” ($ 6.5 million), “West Side Story” ($ 3.4 million) and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” ($ 3.4 million). of dollars).

“Nightmare Alley” had prestige and accolades behind it, with a cast including Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, but a week after Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” was disappointed, it’s a stark reminder of the Cinematic realities during the pandemic and the power of the Marvel fan base.

In the environment of a single movie, more often than not that movie has been a Marvel movie. Including “No Way Home”, Marvel’s releases will be five of the six best films of the year, including “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”, “Black Widow” and “Eternals”.

And lest anyone cling to the hope that “West Side Story” would have a profitable “Greatest Showman” -style streak after its lackluster debut, 20th Century Studios’ output fell 67% in its second week. -end in theaters, grossing just $ 3.4 million. .

But Spider-Man could also help the industry as a whole as 2022 approaches.

“It is almost difficult to describe how important these beginnings are for an industry that has faced one of the greatest challenges in its history in the pandemic,” Dergarabedian said. “Having this resounding mandate in favor of the cinema experience, as expressed by these figures which just a few months ago were unthinkable, makes it a watershed moment for cinemas which I think will be discussed for many years to come. decades. “

Estimated Friday-Sunday ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore.

1. “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” $ 253 million.

2. “Encanto”, $ 6.5 million.

3. “West Side Story”, $ 3.4 million.

4. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”, $ 3.4 million.

5. “Alley of Nightmares”, $ 3 million.

6. “House of Gucci”, $ 1.9 million.

7. “Eternals”, $ 1.2 million.

8. “Clifford the Big Red Dog”, $ 400,000.

9. “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City”, $ 280,000

10. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”, $ 220,000


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