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‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ scores third-biggest debut in box office history

Marvel’s latest release is not only crushing pandemic box office benchmarks, it’s notching all-time records.
/ Source: Reuters

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is turbocharging the global box office, generating a mighty $587.2 million over the weekend despite rising concerns about the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The film, starring Tom Holland as Marvel’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, isn’t only crushing pandemic box office benchmarks, it’s notching all-time records. With this weekend’s global tally, it ranks as the third-biggest worldwide debut in history behind “Avengers: Endgame” ($1.2 billion) and “Avengers: Infinity War” ($640 million). Notably, the top two films opened in China, which is currently the world’s biggest moviegoing market, while “No Way Home” has yet to secure a release date there.

Domestically, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” netted $253 million over the weekend, the third-best debut ever. Sony and Marvel Studios shelled out $200 million to produce the film and at least $100 million more for global marketing efforts.

“This weekend’s historic ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ results, from all over the world and in the face of many challenges, reaffirm the unmatched cultural impact that exclusive theatrical films can have when they are made and marketed with vision and resolve,” says Tom Rothman, Sony’s Motion Picture Group chairman and CEO. “All of us at Sony Pictures, are deeply grateful to the fabulous talent, both in front of and behind the camera, that produced such a landmark film. Thanks to their brilliant work, this Christmas everyone can enjoy the big screen gift of 2021’s mightiest Super Hero — your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.”

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” also gave Imax its best weekend since 2019. A huge $36.2 million of global ticket sales came from Imax screens.

“‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ is an exclamation point on the comeback we’ve seen at the box office in 2021, and an emphatic reminder of the unique power of the theatrical experience — especially Imax — to unite audiences worldwide in a global event,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax. “With these historic results, IMAX continues to see blockbuster releases generate box office at or exceeding pre-pandemic levels — which is very encouraging heading into a fantastic 2022 slate.”

Internationally, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” captured a monster $334.2 million from 60 overseas markets. In comparable territories, the film’s opening weekend is slinging past “Spider-Man: Far From Home” by 72%, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” by 113%, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” by 183%, “No Time to Die” by 113% and “F9: The Fast Saga” by 210%, according to Sony.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” delivered a particularly strong turnout in western Europe, led by the United Kingdom. In the U.K., ticket sales reached $41.4 million during its extended five-day opening to notch the fourth-biggest debut ever in that market. The film opened in France with $17.8 million, Italy with $13 million, Germany with $11.4 million and Spain with $10.4 million. In eastern Europe, Russia led with $17.4 million, followed by Ukraine ($2.4 million) and Turkey ($1.4 million).

Latin American countries webbed up $79.5 million in total, with Mexico’s five-day tally hitting $32.4 million, the country’s highest of all time. Argentina also recorded its best box office debut with $6.8 million, as did Ecuador with $3.7 million.

In Asia, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” notched the largest tally in South Korea ($23.7 million), followed by India ($18.2 million) and Hong Kong ($6.3 million).

Other notable markets include Saudi Arabia ($5.2 million), Israel ($2.7 million) and New Zealand ($2.3 million).

In the coming weeks, Spidey will touch down in Thailand (Dec. 23), Japan (Jan. 7) and the Philippines (Jan. 8).

Critics have embraced “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” with The Daily Beast’s Nick Schager calling it “the MCU’s best Spidey movie by a mile” and Variety’s Peter Debruge describing the film as a “satisfying meta-adventure.” Audiences have been equally receptive; the movie secured an “A+” CinemaScore and a 99% Rotten Tomatoes average.

Directed by Jon Watts, the third chapter in Holland’s trilogy takes place after Peter Parker’s identity is revealed to the world, upending the lives of his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya), his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and his aunt May (Marisa Tomei). Desperate to restore a drop of normalcy, Peter asks for help from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and accidentally unleashes a multiverse — featuring plenty of villains from past Peter Parker timelines. In a crossover event of epic proportions, Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Alfred Molina’s Doctor Otto Octavius drop by to wreak havoc and torment Spider-Man.