No Way Home Is Luring Audiences Out Of Their Homes

Superhero movies seem to be the only thing people will go to theaters to see
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 2, 2022 2:30 PM CST
Spider-Man Still Catching Audiences in Its Web
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Tom Holland in Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man: No Way Home."   (Sony Pictures via AP)

Hollywood closed out 2021 with more fireworks at the box office for Spider-Man: No Way Home, which topped all films for the third straight week and already charts among the highest grossing films ever. But even with all the champagne popping for it, the film industry heads into 2022 with plenty of reason for both optimism and concern after a year that saw overall ticket revenue double that of 2020, but still well off the pre-pandemic pace. Movie theaters began the year mostly shuttered but ended it with a monster smash. Sony Pictures' Marvel sequel No Way Home grossed an estimated $52.7 million over the weekend to bring its three-week total to $609.9 million. That ranks 10th all-time in North America. Worldwide, it's made $1.37 billion, a total that puts it above Black Panther and makes it the 12th highest grossing film globally.

No Way Home, Tom Holland's third standalone film as the webslinger, gave a huge lift to the box-office recovery that started in earnest last spring when U.S. cinemas opened after a year of COVID-19 closures. Marvel films dominated the turbulent year, accounting for the top four movies of 2021: No Way Home, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Black Widow. The North American box office in 2021 amounted to $4.5 billion, according to data firm ComScore. That's about 60% down from 2019—back before the days of masked moviegoers, social distancing, and virus variants like the currently surging omicron. Whether the movies will ever reach those pre-pandemic totals again is uncertain, given that exclusive theatrical windows have since shrunk, studios have experimented with hybrid releases and little besides superhero films are packing theaters.

Top 10 Movies This Weekend

  1. Spider-Man: No Way Home, $52.7 million
  2. Sing 2, $19.6 million
  3. The King's Man, $4.5 million
  4. American Underdog, $4.1 million
  5. The Matrix Revolutions, $3.8 million
  6. West Side Story, $2.1 million
  7. Ghostbusters: Afterlife, $1.4 million
  8. Licorice Pizza, $1.2 million
  9. A Journal for Jordan, $1.2 million
  10. Encanto, $1.1 million
(More box office stories.)

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