Even a pandemic can’t defeat Marvel movie fandom’s desire to avoid spoilers, it seems. Despite (or maybe because of) its big surprises being among the worst-kept secrets in MCU history, Spider-Man: No Way Home continues to draw record-breaking crowds to theaters even as they avoid everything else. By the end of today, the movie is estimated to overtake Titanic to become the #6 domestic grosser ever with $668.7 million. And if it continues at this rate, it stands a chance of even passing Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther. That would make it second only to Avengers: Endgame in MCU totals.
Globally, the web-slinger’s biggest adventure cracks the #8 all-time slot, with $1.53 billion. That makes it the third-highest international MCU grosser behind only Infinity War and Endgame. And that’s without any assist from China, where the film has yet to be approved for release. Moreover, adjusted for inflation, No Way Home will shortly become Sony/Columbia’s biggest hit ever, surpassing Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man in tickets sold ($661 million in 2021 dollars.)
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Results like these may most immediately affect other studios’ release plans for epic tentpole movies. Don’t expect day-and-date releases for the likes of The Batman or Jurassic World: Dominion, now that Warners and Universal see that the pandemic does not necessarily hurt attendance for the biggest features. Jurassic World in particular has a similar hook that marketing should lean on more, with beloved veteran cast members returning from the older films.
Longer term, expect other properties to try to use the multiverse hook that Spider-Man has now successfully exploited in both animation and live-action. And Sony and Marvel Studios would be crazy not to continue their lucrative partnership on this series. DC/WB already has Lynda Carter lined up for Wonder Woman 3, and at least two Batmen in The Flash. Transformers and Ghostbusters already used multiverse storylines in other media, and could easily do so onscreen. Then again, Space Jam: A New Legacy serves as a counter-example warning of how not to pull it off. And it’s an open question if Spidey-villain standalone Morbius will benefit from any of this.
Sites like Vudu have already presold home versions of No Way Home. However, no official streaming or disc date has been announced yet. So for now, expect it to continue in theaters with little competition in sight.
How high can it get? Let us know what you think in comments!
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