Spider-Man: No Way Home Breaks Box Office But Asks Important Questions
By Matt Chieco
A huge congratulations is in order, because the box office estimates for this past weekend had Spider-Man: No Way Home making $253 million domestically and another $334.2 million from overseas, putting the movie at an astounding $587.2 million worldwide. That would make the latest Spider-Man installment the third biggest global debut of all time, falling only behind Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War. The record breaking news led to an abundance of headlines praising the movies success, especially during the ongoing pandemic.
Yet, the final numbers for the weekend showed that Peter Parker’s latest adventure actually made MORE MONEY!!! The movie ended its opening weekend with $260.1 million domestically, $340.8 million overseas, and $600.9 million worldwide. The updated numbers kept Spider-Man: No Way Home at number three for the biggest global debut, but jumped up to number two for the biggest opening weekend domestically, beating Avengers: Infinity War and behind Avengers: Endgame.
But after a less than stellar year at the box office, these impressive numbers have me asking a couple of important questions.
*BEWARE OF SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT*
1) Can tentpole-movies only succeed at the box office?
With the pandemic and streaming dominating Hollywood, casual theatergoers have become more selective on what movies they choose to see, which means movies have to have a distinctive theatrical element (and be good of course) in order to persuade people not to just wait the now shorter release window. So does that mean only blockbusters and four-quadrant movies stand a chance? If this is truly the new reality, many more executives are going to be choosing to make movies go straight to streaming over an exclusive theatrical release, because based on the data from 2021 that's where the money seems to be.
2) Does your movie have to have an element of nostalgia in order to bring in a crowd?
Reading number one will probably make you think…even blockbusters are under preforming, and your right which asks the next question. Does your movie need to evoke some sort of nostalgia? If you look at the top three opening weekends domestically it’s, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. All three have something in common, elements from past movies coming together in one theatrical event. While Endgame and Infinity War summed up a cinematic universe’s story, No Way Home took three different Spider-Man iterations and used them to end Tom Holland’s trilogy in the most perfect way.
Oh and by the way...the second thing they have in common is that all three movies got a lot of butts in seats, which nowadays is very difficult to accomplish.
To cut a long story short, with the pandemic it seems like these two things have hindered the box office, but in actuality the movie industry is in such a tricky spot it’s really hard to pinpoint one specific reason why things are changing.
Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home is now in theater.