‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Beats ‘Star Wars’ Sequels to Become Third-Biggest Opening Ever

Variety argues that young men — the key audience for comic book and science-fiction films "have been fueling attendance for pandemic-era hits..." But even with that, this weekend Spider-Man: No Way Home "crushed box office expectations, generating a mammoth $253 million from 4,336 theaters in North America." It was easily the best domestic opening weekend turnout of any movie in pandemic times. Prior to this weekend, no other COVID-era film had been able to cross even $100 million in a single weekend. The biggest domestic debut previously belonged to another Sony comic book sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which generated $90 million in its initial release. And after only three days in cinemas, Spider-Man: No Way Home is already the highest-grossing film of this year (and last). Overseas, the latest Spidey outing has collected $334.2 million from 60 international markets for a global tally of $587.2 million. It ranks as the third-biggest worldwide opening weekend ever.... The film is experiencing the kind of demand that hasn't been witnessed in theaters since Disney's every-hero-but-the-kitchen-sink mashup Avengers: Endgame, which collected a historic $357 million in its 2018 debut. Spider-Man: No Way Home isn't quite reaching those (basically unattainable) heights, but the movie has been a formidable force, zooming past opening weekend tickets sales for box office behemoths like 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247 million), 2017's Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220 million), 2015's Jurassic World ($208 million), 2012's The Avengers ($207 million) and 2018's Black Panther ($202 million). It stands behind Avengers: Endgame, and 2017's Avengers: Infinity War ($257 million debut) to land the third-best opening weekend in history. Counting No Way Home, only eight films have ever crossed $200 million in ticket sales in a single weekend.... The film's remarkable box office revenues coincide with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is already leading to restaurant, concert and live-theater closures in New York City.... Box office experts believe there's one reason why "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is turbo-charging the box office: superheroes sell. In other words, the comic book adventure's performance doesn't reverse fortunes for the beleaguered movie theater business. Rather, industry insiders believe it punctuates the reality that multiplexes have been — and will continue to be — more reliant than ever on big-budget spectacles, particularly of the superhero variety. The same weekend Guillermo del Toro's $60-million movie Nightmare Alley brought in $3 million.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.