I know what you’re thinking. Most of the world (probably you included) is still waiting to go see Spider-Man: No Way Home in theaters and we’re already talking about box office numbers? Well, what can I say? A staggered global opening means this type of stuff is gonna happen. So let’s break down what we have so far.
The box office projections for Spider-Man: No Way Home are already incredibly high. The film has a lot to live up to as a result of these projections. While there’s been a very real concern that the Omicron surge could impact the opening box office numbers, projections have held pretty steady. It’s expected to break pandemic and 2021 film records easily, with a few other records mixed in there as well.
Conservative estimates already have it blowing well past $100 million domestic. It’s likely over $130 million at a minimum, with a few even saying it could pass $180 million. Global box office numbers are projected at a whopping $290 million for opening weekend. Lifetime projections place it at over $1 billion globally.
Saying this is the biggest movie of the pandemic era is a massive understatement. These numbers would be pretty darn good for an average film in non-pandemic time. But some may hold MCU films to a higher standard and consider this low in comparison. A lot of people who would do that, however, are making bad faith arguments that ignore the context in which this film has been released. The people downplaying things tend to downplay everything, so I’m not surprised.
While No Way Home has the pressure of the Marvel Cinematic universe breathing down its neck, these numbers are still incredibly impressive when taken into the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of people aren’t ready to step back out in the world right now. They’re opting to stay home for safety reasons. Likewise, many jurisdictions have capacity limits, curfews, or other pandemic precautions in place. And yet, here we are. Records are being smashed, both big and small. Audiences are thrilled and the buzz is plentiful. History is being made whether the haters like it or not.
For now, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the biggest domestic opening weekend of the year at over $90 million, and as a Venom fanatic, I’m going to be sad to see it get surpassed. But, like Thanos, it’s inevitable. While these numbers definitely aren’t going to blow past Avengers Endgame in most jurisdictions, it’s still breaking records around the world already. I expect more records to be smashed in the coming days as more countries release the film. We’ve got the rest of Thursday, then all of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ahead of us.
United Kingdom Box Office Numbers
On December 15th, the United Kingdom became one of the first country’s to get the film. On that one day alone Spider-Man: No Way Home raked in $10 million, beating the previous top 2021 Wednesday earner No Time to Die by over $3 million. But No Way Home didn’t just beat the 2021 numbers. Nope. It is the UK’s top Wednesday opening of all time! Even pre-pandemic Wednesday openers couldn’t compare.
It’s not the biggest opening day ever, however. Endgame brought in $11.9 million on its Thursday opening in 2019. This doesn’t surprise me at all. I feel that Endgame is going to keep many records for a long time to come. I’m impressed that it even got this close.
Mexico Box Office Numbers
While Spider-Man didn’t beat Endgame for the biggest opening ever in the United Kingdom, it apparently did beat it in Mexico. Like the UK, Mexico got the film on Wednesday ahead of the rest of the world. On day one the film earned an impressive $9 million. Dailies for its second day have not yet been released, but it’ll likely be pretty darn good, too. Record-breaking? Maybe. Maybe not. But I’m going to guess that accumulatively it could beat Endgame in Mexico for the opening weekend overall. It could even beat its lifetime earnings there, though that will be quite a challenge.
Unfortunately, finding the opening day numbers for Endgame in Mexico has proven to be a bit of a challenge so all I have to go off of is the word of other outlets. ComicBook.com and Deadline are pretty reliable so I trust that this is accurate. If you have a more precise number, please leave it in the comments! I’d love to know just how much it beat it by.
India Box Office Numbers
No Way Home didn’t beat Endgame in India, but it’s certainly the biggest opener of 2021 at around Rs 32-34.2 Crore (~$4 million USD). India currently has some capacity limits in certain regions due to the Omicron surge, so this is smaller than it could have been otherwise. Some theater chains also aren’t carrying the film. Overall it has an uphill climb in India, but it still managed to at least break the 2021 record.
That said, second place to Endgame and the biggest during a year with a surging pandemic and fewer screens than expected is still mightily impressive. The film opening on a Thursday instead of a Friday makes it even more impressive still. These are still great numbers in context.
Korea Box Office Numbers
The film has earned $5.8 million in Korea, setting a pandemic record and blowing past the pre-pandemic opening of Spider-Man: Far From Home by about 11%. It earned another $3.3 million on Thursday, too. This is apparently a 95% market share in Korea! That’s huge.
The fact that it’s beating the preceding film from pre-pandemic times is simply mind-blowing and I can’t wait to see just how far it goes here. The numbers over the weekend may dip slightly, however, as Korea will be implementing a 10 pm curfew on Saturday in response to the Omicron surge.
While this may stifle box office numbers, the important thing is that Korea is attempting to keep the population safe, so I’m fine with that. I just hope that everyone that wants to see it gets to do so safely and comfortably.
Fandago Ticket Sales Record
Fandango has reportedly sold more tickets for Spider-Man: No Way Home than it has for any other film in 2021. And that’s not just a pre-sale number, but more than any film this year in its entire theatrical release! But if you want to just focus on pre-sale numbers, its first-day pre-sale is higher than “Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” according to Deadline.
You’ll notice that Endgame isn’t on that list. Yeah, there’s clearly a pattern emerging there! In areas where it doesn’t break a record and ‘only’ comes in second place (which is still pretty darn impressive) it usually only loses out to Endgame. This isn’t a second-place finish to be ashamed of, though. Not by a long shot.
General Pre-Sale Numbers
Per our information, the UK, at 12 days out from release, was seeing advance sales at three times those of No Time To Die at the same point.
Brazil’s advances are 5% over Endgame at the same point; Poland is showing the best presales since Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker; Portugal passed No Time To Die’s total presales in three days; and Australia and Turkey are on par with Endgame.
As Anthony has reported, domestically, No Way Home broke first-day presales records for the pandemic for both the No. 1 and No. 3 circuits, AMC and Cinemark, and also repped their second-best day of presales ever after Endgame.
Second place to Endgame in a few places again! Again, no shame, though. It’s the best of 2021 and the pandemic overall pretty much everywhere. But let’s take a closer look at the specific places Deadline highlighted for a second.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is trending ahead of Endgame in Brazil, where it opened today December 16th. It could very well beat it there. I’ll be interested in seeing those final numbers when they get released. We know that breaking Endgame records is possible thanks to Mexico’s opening day numbers, so let’s see how this one plays out.
It opened yesterday in Australia and hasn’t beaten Endgame there yet despite pre-sales being ‘on par.’ That said, the other jurisdiction where its pre-sale was ‘on par’ was Portugal, where it just opened today. So that one could go either way. I expect those numbers to be released soon, so this article may be out of date on that front by the time you get here. Feel free to comment with those numbers if you got them!
Spider-Man: No Way Home Ratings
This metric is a tricky one because it’s definitely going to change. While the ticket purchases are set in stone since they’re already sold, more reviews will trickle in over the next few days that could alter these scores pretty significantly.
For the purposes of ratings, I’m focusing on Rotten Tomatoes. As of this writing, the film has a 99% audience rating and a 95% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This currently places it second only to Black Panther when it comes to the critic score (96%).
But this is the highest audience score on record at the moment. Shang-Chi is only 1% point behind, though. Just a few audience ratings for either film could change this.
Truth be told, I don’t expect this record to hold. Most audience scores at this point are from the die-hards. Once more of the general audience gets to see it, I expect it to dip. The early fanatic surge may not be indicative of larger trends.
Then again, I could be proven wrong! For now, though, take a look at the screenshot and enjoy this ratings record. It’s there right now, so enjoy it while you can.
Potential Roadblocks to Global Records
Besides the incredibly obvious pandemic issues that I’ve been discussing here (capacity limits, audience hesitation, curfews), Spider-Man: No Way Home has a couple of other roadblocks ahead of it. It’s going to be a success regardless of these roadblocks, and that shouldn’t be diminished, but it won’t be as high as it could have been.
First and foremost, it doesn’t yet have a release date in China. It’s definitely supposed to be released there, but we have no idea when. About $200 million of the previous Spider-Man film’s $1.132 billion lifetime earnings came from China, so this will have a significant impact on the final numbers, especially if it’s pushed to 2022 as the chatter seems to indicate. If it does manage to get released there before too much pirating takes place (it may or may not be too late on that front), I fully expect it to at least beat all other Spider-Man films. Without that? I’m not sure.
Another issue is the timing. The next installment of the Matrix franchise is due to come out next week, which could mean that No Way Home could see a significant drop-off. Drop-offs aren’t unusual, but the severity largely depends on what offerings there are the following week. Matrix should be a decently sized challenge, though I don’t expect it to actually beat it.
While I saw Endgame in theaters three times, I’ll likely only see this one once partially due to pandemic safety concerns, and partly because I’d rather see The Matrix Resurrections next week. If I’m going to step out into the pandemic to see a movie, it’s probably not likely to be a repeat viewing. I’m being very cautious with my film selections. I suspect many others feel the same.
Then again, if this has enormous rewatch potential, Matrix: Resurrections might not matter at all. As I haven’t seen the film yet and I am only one person with one opinion, I really can’t predict that bit.
A Reminder To Film Goers
We’re still in the middle of a raging global pandemic. No matter where you are, please remember to take reasonable precautions to keep yourself and your family safe. Wear a mask in the theater, even if your local jurisdiction doesn’t require it. Wash your hands. Get that booster shot! And above all, just generally be safe. We don’t need the biggest film of the pandemic to also become the biggest super-spreader event. We’ve already had one nerd event make this sort of headline. Let’s not go two-for-two on this one.
To those who are able to get out to the theaters and feel comfortable doing so, be kind to our fellow fans who are choosing to remain home. If you’re posting on social media, warn for spoilers accordingly. Be kind.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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