For months, one surefire hit after another has underperformed. One good reason for that? We’re still in the midst of a once-in-a-century public health crisis. But finally — and just in time for the onset of what’s looking like another brutal wave thanks to the Omicron variant — we have a bona fide blockbuster: On its opening day, Spider-Man: No Way Home is already breaking not only pandemic records but all-time records as well — this despite its complete aversion to hanky panky.
When it opened on Friday, the threequel in the Tom Holland iteration of Marvel’s web-slinger grossed a massive $121.5 million. (A princely $50 million of that was from Thursday night previews alone.) Only one other movie has grossed more on its opening day, and it happened to also feature Holland’s Spidey: Avengers: Endgame, back in 2019. On the way to its number two spot, it knocked Star Wars: The Force Awakens down to third.
Right now, No Way Home is on track to gross somewhere around $240 million, more than doubling the previous pandemic opening weekend haul: Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which amassed some $90 million back in October.
It’s an impressive feat, and, again, it happened just as COVID cases starting soaring across parts of the country, leading to cancellations and postponements for in-person events in places like New York City.
What got butts back in seats that were reluctant to show up to other movies? Probably because, unlike Shang-Chi (which did extremely well) and Eternals (which dramatically underperformed and got low ratings but didn’t bomb), Holland’s Spidey is a known commodity. Throw in a number of returning Spider-Man franchise vets, some madcap multiverse action, and a character with massive appeal among young viewers, who are less prone to get serious infection, and it’s no wonder people were excited to come back in droves.