‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Demolishes Box Office Records in the Pandemic Era

Spider-Man No Way Home
Spider-Man: No Way Home is performing like a pre-pandemic box office smash with one of the biggest opening weekends of all time.


Things were definitely looking great for No Way Home in the weeks leading up to the release date – entire ticket distribution websites crashed, theaters sold out, and the movie became the sixth to sell over $100M in tickets ahead of the opening day, much like all three films in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy and both of the last two Avengers films did. Nonetheless, Sony deliberately lowballed their expectations for ticket sales and projected a domestic opening of $130M and $160M internationally for a cumulative $290M global opening weekend. To say that the movie that they were about to drop – which would unite three generations of Spider-Man characters across three film continuities into one story – was going to blow those numbers out of the water was a pretty massive understatement, even with the specter of the surging COVID-19 Omicron Variant looming over audiences (and theater chains reinstating some protective restrictions), as over 20,000,000 people made the trek to 4,336 theaters domestically to catch the film commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the Spider-Man film franchise, with a staggering total of 91% of moviegoers this weekend seeing No Way Home.


After a few days of increasing opening weekend projections (which said that the movie would only get to $200M in the United States of America and Canada if everything went right), Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s opening weekend has been called by Sony Pictures at a $260M domestic total and a $340.8M international total, with the combined numbers resulting in a colossal $600.8M global opening weekend. In other words, the Christmas window on the movie, combined with the sheer amount of anticipation provided by pre-release speculation and a bunch of unintentional guerilla marketing through various plot leaks, has given Spider-Man the second-largest opening weekend domestically (ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and the third-largest opening weekend in the world (behind Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War). In short, it’s playing a lot like a Star Wars movie domestically and an Avengers movie internationally, and has already recouped its $200M production budget.


No Way Home


Other records of note that have been caught in the web of No Way Home include:

  • Biggest-ever opening weekend for a Sony Pictures release ($600.8M versus Spider-Man 3‘s $381.7M).
  • Biggest-ever December opening at the domestic box office ($260M versus Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘s previous record at $247M).
  • Biggest-ever opening weekend in Mexico ($32.4M).
  • Biggest-ever opening weekend in Ukraine ($2.4M).
  • Biggest-ever opening weekend in Turkey ($1.4M).
  • Second-biggest opening weekend in India ($18.2M).
  • Third-biggest opening weekend in Australia ($18.7M).
  • Fifth-biggest opening weekend in Russia ($17.4M).


Unless No Way Home ends up being inexplicably ridiculously front-loaded and people inexplicably shift all of their focus to competing films over the holidays (which won’t happen) or more severe restrictions are enforced (which might happen but probably won’t stop the movie from making a fortune), a final box office total of over $1B worldwide seems to be assured, which would make this movie the first billion-dollar grosser of the pandemic era and the first one since 2019. That feat would be especially impressive if it doesn’t release in one of the biggest international markets, given that a Chinese release has been in question due to international tensions. Marvel and Sony need not worry, however, as the movie got a rare A+ CinemaScore (a ranking that only Marvel’s The Avengers, Black Panther, and Avengers: Endgame have seen, alongside Sony’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse), and the film currently has the single-highest audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes of any Marvel Studios movie, with over 99% of viewers ranking the film positively. In addition, this will also be the first time that a Spider-Man movie will be the top-grossing movie of the year, should the current positive trends continue.


Sony and Marvel are likely popping the champagne in their respective offices, while cinemas that have been struggling in the pandemic era are likely taking a collective sigh of relief. This mind-blowingly large opening weekend likely spells good news for Tom Holland as he negotiates a new contract for future appearances, given that the producers on the film are already lining up a new trilogy of films, most likely alongside several cameo options for him across several franchises.


Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing exclusively in theaters.