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Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home rang in 2022 in style, earning another $52.7 million over New Year’s weekend to become the 10th biggest film in history at the domestic box office after collecting $609.9 million through Sunday, not adjusted for inflation.
Globally, the webslinger has set a slew of records, including becoming the first film of the pandemic era to clear the $1 billion threshold at the worldwide box office, a feat it accomplished without China.
Spider-Man is a huge win for Sony and starts off the new year on a positive note for Hollywood and stressed-out theater owners. It’s the first film to do pre-pandemic level business despite a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.
It even helped push domestic revenue for the year to $4.5 billion (several weeks ago, analysts were predicting $4.4 billion), according to Comscore. While 2021 revenue was up a staggering 101 percent from 2020, it still lagged significantly behind 2019, or 60 percent. Cinemas didn’t reopen in earnest until spring, making exact comparisons difficult. Comscore and the National Association of Theatre Owners note that revenue is down only 40 percent from 2019 when excluding the first quarter of 2021.
Overseas, No Way Home added another $78.3 million to its coffers this weekend for a foreign tally of $759 million and $1.37 billion worldwide to rank as the 12th highest-grossing movie of all time after passing up Black Panther ($1.35 billion), not adjusted for inflation. And on Tuesday, it passed up Spider-Man: Far From Home ($1.13 billion) to become the top-grossing Sony release of all time.
Universal and Illumination’s family Sing 2 was the other big Christmas winner. Now that kids ages 5 and older can be vaccinated, family films are picking up. Sing 2 stayed at No. 2 over New Year’s weekend with $19.6 million for a 14-day domestic gross of $89.8 million. Internationally, it grossed $17.2 million for a foreign tally of $54.9 million and $144.6 million worldwide.
Also on the family front, Disney’s Thanksgiving offering Encanto — which remains in the top 10 — finished the weekend with more than $90 million in the bank domestically and $205.7 million worldwide.
Meanwhile, the male-fueled The Matrix Resurrections and The King’s Man both continued to disappoint after tepid Christmas openings.
Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s Matrix — which is also available on HBO Max — was especially mopey over New Year’s weekend as it got overtaken by both King’s Man and American Underdog, a Christian movie about NFL quarterback Kurt Warner.
King’s Man, from 20th Century and Disney, came in No. 3 with $4.5 million for a 14-day domestic total of $19.5 million and a global showing of $47.8 million.
Lionsgate and the Erwin Brothers’ American Underdog grossed an estimated $4.1 million for a nine-day domestic total of $15 million.
Matrix Resurrections rounded out the top five with $3.8 million for a 14-day domestic tally of $30.0 million. The film fell notably more than any other title in the top 10 — or 64 percent — revealing the impact of also being available in the home.
The reboot is faring better overseas, where it is getting an exclusive theatrical release. The film’s foreign total stands at $75.1 million for a global cume of $106 million.
Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story continued to lag, earning $2.1 million for a domestic total of $39.6 million and $47.2 million globally. The musical opened in early December but wasn’t able to find its holiday groove.
At the specialty box office, Licorice Pizza stayed in the top 10, grossing $1.5 million in its second weekend of expansion for an early total of $6.3 million. (It is playing in far fewer theaters than other nationwide releases, or 786 locations).
Licorice Pizza, from MGM and United Artists, placed No. 8, followed by Sony’s Christmas Day release A Journal for Jordan. The Sony film, like many adult dramas, is struggling to find its audience, earning $1.2 million from 2,500 theaters for a domestic total of $4.7 million.
Sony Pictures Classics’ specialty offering Parallel Mothers enjoyed a strong second weekend with a per-location average of $10,079 from three theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
Among other award contenders, it’s impossible to say how a slew of movies backed by Netflix, Amazon Studios and Apple+ are doing in their limited runs in select theaters since grosses aren’t disclosed. They include The Tragedy of Macbeth, Being the Ricardos, The Tender Bar and Swan Song.
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Zar Amir Ebrahimi
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