SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Refresh for more analysis and chart Sony is calling the opening weekend for Spider-Man: No Way Home at $253M, which is where we first told you it would be last night. That’s the best December domestic opening, best ever for Sony, 3rd best ever among all films beating 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247.9M). Saturday is at $73.8M, which is in the range of where we saw it, the third best Saturday ever stateside. Sunday is looking at $57.350 million on Sunday from 4,336 locations. The sequel is $4.7M from overtaking Avengers: Infinity War‘s $257.698M opening as the second best domestic opening of all-time. Worldwide Spider-Man: No Way Home owns the 3rd best global debut with $587.2M after Avengers: Endgame ($1.22 billion) and Avengers: Infinity War ($640.5M) and that’s without China.
You can say that any Marvel Cinematic Universe title is a self-fulling box office prophesy, however, Eternals in its Byzantine storytelling proved that false; and Spider-Man: No Way Home in its opening weekend has made 1.5x more than that movie’s entire domestic run (now at $163.7M). From the onset, this was the quintessential Spider-Man sequel, moving forward with the future while paying great homage to the franchise’s past (it’s how Star Wars and Star Trek do it). In fact, the whole conceit of pulling characters from a franchise’s various iterations into one huge story has been done before, read 1994’s Star Trek Generations. Warner Bros. caught wind of what Spidey is doing here, and is pulling a similar multi-verse concept off with The Flash and various Batmans (Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton’s) from its older DC film franchises.
But no one has ever seen this version of Spider-Man with Tom Holland fending off all previous villains made famous by the comic book and Sony, i.e. Willem Dafoe’s Goblin, Alfred Molina’s Doc Oct, Jamie Foxx’s Electro, etc. And credit here can be given to Marvel itself for amping up the prestige of this sequel as fans buzzed for months that it would be the quintessential phase 4 feature in its exploration of the multi-verse; a lot of this has to do with WandaVision, Loki, and What If? setting the stage for No Way Home on Disney+. In fact, you could say that the leaked castings and rumors were the best form of marketing for No Way Home.
Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group beamed this morning, “This weekend’s historic Spider-Man: No Way Home results, from all over the world and in the face of many challenges, reaffirm the unmatched cultural impact that exclusive theatrical films can have when they are made and marketed with vision and resolve. All of us at Sony Pictures, are deeply grateful to the fabulous talent, both in front of and behind the camera, that produced such a landmark film. Thanks to their brilliant work, this Christmas everyone can enjoy the big screen gift of 2021’s mightiest Super Hero —your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.”
As exhibition reconvened and looked to muscle up after being closed during the pandemic at CinemaCon last August, that’s when Sony sprung the first trailer to Spider-Man: No Way Home — and it was massive. Typically when trailers are dropped in the room at CinemaCon, the general public has to wait months before seeing them, but that wasn’t the case here. With a coordinated global push between all Sony departments (creative, media, publicity, digital, social), the official trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home broke the 24-hour all-time record for most global views with 355.5M and generated the largest 24-hour social media conversation volume of all-time with 4.5M mentions and has since become the most viewed trailer of all time. Media and talent’s social push turned Cyber Monday into Spider-Monday for the ticketing launch, making it the second best pre-sales of all time.
For Cinemark, Spider-Man: No Way Home is looking to be the No. 3 chain’s second best weekend ever after Avengers: Endgame.
“Spider-Man fans proved they are some of the most enthusiastic moviegoers with their record-breaking support of the film’s debut around the world, making this live-action multiverse an international sensation that must be seen on the big screen,” said Justin McDaniel, Cinemark SVP of Global Content. “After delivering Cinemark’s best-ever domestic opening-night box office, Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently tracking to the company’s second-biggest opening-weekend box office of all time, not only in our U.S. theatres but across Latin America, as well. Additionally, moviegoers are seeking the ultimate superhero experience with ticket sales significantly over-indexing in our Cinemark XD auditoriums. We are proud to work alongside our partners at Sony to deliver the incomparable in-theatre experience and are thrilled with the phenomenal success of their latest film.”
Top theaters over the past two days for No Way Home are AMC Empire 25 ($494K), AMC Burbank ($461K), Regal Irvine Spectrum ($362K), AMC Lincoln Center ($347K), Regal Ontario Palace ($345K), AMC Garden State ($332K), Regal South Gate in LA ($323K), AMC Gulfe Pointe in Houston ($309K), AMC Orange ($292K) and Regal Kaufman Astoria Stadium ($291K).
This person claims to have seen the movie 4x this weekend:
Yep, I’m seeing ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ for a FOURTH TIME in three days, not only because it’s that good, but also because I’m ADDICTED to the unreal crowd reactions.
Search for “no way home reactions” to see what I mean. pic.twitter.com/eLLeZ7aVqB
— Winter (@winterene) December 19, 2021
Clearly, headlines about Omicron did not throw a monkey wrench in Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s box office prospects this weekend. Rising hospitalizations are bing driven by the unvaccinated according to CNN; only 204.48M Americans are fully vaccinated or 61.3% of the population. Dr. Anthony Fauci says recently that places with low vaccination rates will have the most strain on their hospital systems. NRG reported heading into the weekend that while there was a little bit of concern about Omicron among moviegoers, they weren’t as fearful as they were when the Delta variant made the news. Overall 74% of those polled by NRG said that they were very or somewhat comfortable going to a movie theater right now, which was 2 points below the October/November average (76%). There has been a slight rise in the percent who responded that they ‘would not go to a movie theater right now’, up +2 points to 10%. That’s the highest point seen since Sept. 26th, though still below the peak NRG saw during the Delta wave (14% on Aug. 15).
SATURDAY PM UPDATE: As we told you, once an event film like this catches fire and has momentum, there’s no stopping it, and tonight industry estimates are pegging Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home with a $72M-$74M Saturday, -40% from the 2nd best opening day ever of $121.5M, which will put the Tom Holland-Zendaya-Benedict Cumberbatch movie at $253M+. That’s not only the biggest box office opening Sony has ever seen in its history, but a record domestic debut for December, and the third best of all-time, taking out 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens which opened to $247.966M. As Nancy reported earlier today, this Spidey is heading to a $500M+ global opening, and that’s without China.
Tonight’s numbers haven’t been confirmed by Sony, but don’t worry, there’s no trap door here in the weekend where a ton of cash is going to get lost. The Jon Watts directed MCU sequel is within breaths of taking over 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War as the second-best domestic opening of all time, that Disney/Marvel having kicked off with $257.698M.
And to think at two points in the last two years, Sony had No Way Home dated for July 16 and Nov. 5 of this year before moving it to the hotspot pre-Christmas December launchpad (that decision made in July 2020). A round of attaboys are in store for Sony’s distribution department on a smart, seismic calendar move.
Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s Saturday is third best behind Avengers: Endgame ($109.2M) and Avengers: Infinity War ($82.1M), beating Jurassic World‘s $69.6M. Industry estimates are expecting a $58.8M Sunday for Spider-Man: No Way Home, just under Force Awakens’ $60.55M.
To think that 2007’s Spider-Man 3 has held the title as Sony’s best domestic opening for the last 14 years with $151.1M. Spider-Man: No Way Home beats that previous record by 69%.
Now, let’s talk about runway, because Sony has a ton of it heading into the year-end holiday. An A+ CinemaScore movie isn’t going to slow down its turnstiles as it heads into a week where colleges and K-12 schools are increasingly going on holiday break. Force Awakens between its Monday after release through Dec. 31, 2015 accumulated close to $404M, averaging $36.7M a day between that span. Force Awakens’ Monday was 34% down from Sunday with $40.1M. The pic did $49.3M on Christmas Day, but saw its fourth-highest grossing day on Dec. 26 with $56.7M, which fell on a Saturday. The mind goes crazy thinking what Spider-Man: No Way Home can do. Comscore reports that 65% K-12 and 83% colleges are off on Monday. This swells to 100% off for both starting on Friday, Christmas Eve for the rest of the year.
The question always asked on these big opening weekends is ‘Why didn’t anyone see it coming?’, and simply put that’s because we’re still struggling with a pandemic. There was an aggressive feeling Spider-Man: No Way Home could go this high, but no one knew it until they were riding the wave.
We’ll update you in the AM.
Holland celebrates this weekend by writing on Instagram, “Wow guys I can’t believe these number. You made this possible. Your love and support means the world to me. Thank you thank you thank you and if you haven’t seen Spider-Man no way home yet… merry Christmas and you know what to do ♥️”; the post notching over 8.4M views.
No Way Home star Jamie Foxx celebrating the weekend win:
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: If you’re wondering whether the Omicron variant is slowing down this weekend’s box office, the answer is ‘No’.
Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home charted the second best opening day in the history of the domestic box office with $121.5M (including $50M previews) after Avengers: Endgame ($157.4M) and ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($119.1M). That’s also the highest opening day ever for the month of December. This now puts the Jon Watts directed Tom Holland-Zendaya-Benedict Cumberbatch and all-star Spidey villain movie at an estimated $242M–$247.5M+ over three days, which would make it the fourth highest U.S./Canada opening of all-time behind Avengers: Endgame ($357.1M), Avengers: Infinity War ($257.7M), and Star Wars: Force Awakens ($247.96M). The expectation is that Saturday eases 40% from Friday+preview’s haul, however, in most cases when we have a box office beast this big, it only gets bigger. Some see Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s weekend beating Force Awakens’ 3-day. Spider-Man: No Way Home also gets a huge hug from moviegoers with an A+ CinemaScore; the best grade ever for a live-action Spider-Man, and the second A+ for the Sony/Marvel franchise after the Oscar-winning animation movie, 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
EntTelligence counts 9.2M who’ve seen Spider-Man: No Way Home so far, “that’s more people than the entire population of the Tokyo City limits and Austria and that’s not including Saturday or Sunday’s upcoming traffic,” reports the box office analytics firm.
A great indicator that the power of the big screen will not be defeated by a pandemic: Ticket sales for all movies this weekend are expected to gross an estimated $273.5M, +10% from two years ago when Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, the last massive blockbuster, opened before Covid. However, as we mentioned prior, the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home is not a case of a tide rising all boats. No Way Home is commanding 90% of the entire weekend’s ticket sales, this compared to Rise of Skywalker which had an opening of $177.3M that repped 72% of the domestic B.O. over Dec. 20-22, 2019. EntTelligence reports that Spider-Man repped 91% of all moviegoing attendance yesterday. That’s nine out of every ten movie goers went to see the webslinger on Friday. So far the average theater has played Sony’s biggest opener ever 37x.
Imax and PLF screens are driving 32% of No Way Home‘s ticket sales to date. On Friday, we hear, AMC Burbank in CA & AMC Empire in NYC both grossed over 300K. There were eight theaters which grossed over $200K apiece and 180 making over $100K each in one day, which is massive.
Sixty-two percent of all seats were allocated to No Way Home says EntTelligence. Those who watched No Way Home before 3PM repped 20% of the crowd, with another 20% attending between 3PM to 6PM, 33% between 6PM to 9PM, and then 27% after 9PM. Moviegoers have paid an average ticket price of $13.33 while those choosing to watch it in PLF shelled out $17.10 and 3D tickets were at an average of $16.52 each.
Updated Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak exits still show 5 stars from general audiences with 96% positive, a 91% definite recommend with kids under 12 giving the movie a 98% grade. The 18-34 demo is largely responsible for the success of this blockbuster, showing up at 70% with men under 25 at 38% (97% grade), men over 25 at 25% (96% grade), women under 25 at 22% (95% grade) and women over 25 at 15% (now a 92% grade). Updated diversity demos are 32% Caucasian, 30% Latino and Hispanic, 17% Black and 14% Asian.
Spider-Man: No Way Home counts a global brand campaign valued at $202M, the best we’ve seen so far for an event film during the pandemic. Read more about that here.
No Way Home has a running time of 2 hours and 28 minutes, proving that lengthy superhero movies during the pandemic are still appealing to their core crowd. You can’t say the same thing for older skewing movies, like this weekend’s other wide release, Searchlight’s Nightmare Alley from Guillermo del Toro which has a running time of 2 1/2 hours. The updated feature noir adaptation of the William Lindsay Gresham novel and redo of the 1947 movie, despite its 80% certified fresh grade from Rotten Tomatoes critics, stands to make $3.25M, maybe $4M this weekend at 2,145 theaters. Friday came in at $1.19M.
The movie will need to wait until after Christmas should any adults venture out to this 8x nominated Critics Choice feature. CinemaScore is a B, which is higher than the B- of del Toro’s previous arthouse-genre wide release Crimson Peak (the director’s Oscar-winning The Shape of Water was platformed). In pre-pandemic October 2015, Crimson Peak opened to $13.1M, and ended its stateside run at $31M. Shape of Water off four Oscar wins including Best Picture and Director got to $63.8M. Both of those movies’ ending domestic cumes are arguably impossible for Nightmare Alley to emulate, not to mention it’s a much darker movie than the romantic Shape of Water. Also exits aren’t illuminating at 72% positive on PostTrak, a 49% definite recommend. Mostly guys showing up here at 56%, with 25-54 repping 55% of ticket buyers and those over 45 at 29%. Diversity demos were 63% Caucasian, 11% Latino and Hispanic, 9% Black and 17% Asian/other.
Breaking into the top 10 is Hamsini Entertainment’s Pushpa: The Rise at 400 theaters in 112 markets (in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi). The near-3 hour movie from filmmaker Sukumar follows Pushpa Raj, a lorry driver in Seshachalam forests of South India. The movie is set in the backdrop of red sandalwood smuggling, which is an endemic to South-Eastern Ghats (mountain range) of India. Decent numbers in NYC, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, DC and Seattle are putting Pushpa at $1.32M for the weekend and a theater average of 3,3K.
How are those new streamer-made movies in limited theatrical release doing? While Netflix, Amazon and Apple Original Films don’t report grosses, we’re hearing that George Clooney’s Tender Bar had $3K yesterday, $9K for the weekend with LA’s the Landmark being the strongest. The Ben Affleck-starring title hits Amazon Prime on Jan. 7, 2022.
Netflix’s award-winning Maggie Gyllenhaal directed, The Lost Daughter at six locations (Paris NY, The Landmark LA, Alamo South Lamar, Playhouse Pasadena, Embarcadero SF and Bowtie Landmark CT) is seeing $9K yesterday and an estimated $25K for the weekend for a $4,1K theater average.
Apple Original Film’s The Swan Song which is already on the service is seeing nine locations grossing under $1K.
1.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 4,336 theaters, Fri $121.5M, 3-day $242M-$247.5M/Wk 1
2.) Encanto (Dis) 3,525 (-225) theaters, Fri $1.65M (-28%)/ 3-day $6.6M (-33%), Total $81.6M/Wk 4
3.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 3,282 (-533) theaters, Fri $930K (-47%)/3-day $3.63M (-49%) Total: $117.5M/Wk 5
4.) West Side Story (20th/Dis) 2,820 theaters, Fri $1.06M (-74%)/3-day $3.4M (-68%)/Total $17.9M/Wk 2
5.) Nightmare Alley (Sea) 2,145 theaters, Fri $1.19M, 3-day: $3.25M, Wk 1
6.)House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 1,907 (-1,500) theaters, /Fri $579K (-54%)/3-day $1.87M (-55%)/Total: $44.9M/Wk 4
7.) Pushpa: The Rise (Hamsini) 400 theaters, Fri $437,6K/3-day $1.32M/Wk 1
8.) Eternals (Dis) 1,900 (-1,130) theaters, Fri $337K (-58%)/3-day $1.3M (-58%)/Total $163.7M/Wk 7
9.) Clifford the Big Red Dog (Par) 2,840 (-421) theaters, Fri $105K (-61%)/3-day $425K (-67%)/Total $48.6M/Wk 6
10.) Resident Evil: Raccoon City (Sony) 719 (-1,853) theaters, Fri $85K (-81%)/ 3-day $300K (-82%) Total $16.75M/Wk 4
11.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 450 (-553) theaters, Fri $65K (-66%)/3-day: $250K (-67%)/Total $212.4M/Wk 12
FRIDAY MIDDAY UPDATE: According to industry midday estimates, not Sony, Spider-Man: No Way Home is easily heading toward an opening that’s north of $200M. Some have the Jon Watts directed MCU title between $238M-$250M. I’m told if the wheels fall off of Spider-Man and he nosedives 50% on Saturday (from Friday), he should still comfortably land north of $200M. Triple note, midday Friday estimates are always the most aggressive. Sony, I hear, already has $97M in the bank for today, which should put the Tom Holland-Zendaya picture between $115M-$120M (including $50M previews). Should a meteor hit the Earth this weekend and for some unexpected reason Spidey is in the high $100M range, there’s no reason why we can’t call that a phenomenal success, especially as we endure an ongoing pandemic. There’s too much glowing word of mouth here.
As far as Covid concerns, we’re hearing that theater capacity restrictions are in effect at 50% in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick up in Canada. That’s not expected to throw a wrench in what we’re seeing here on Spider-Man.
As far as other films in the marketplace, I hear that this weekend is not one where the tide rises all boats; Spider-Man: No Way Home is soaking up all the oxygen. Still, behold the living financial power of a fire-breathing theatrical window. Why the heck doesn’t anyone want to practice day-and-date, again? Somebody, remind me.
20th Century Studios/Amblin/Disney’s West Side Story is seeing a 55-60% decline for the 3-day weekend for $4-$5M second weekend. The Steven Spielberg feature musical ended its first week with $14.5M.
Meanwhile after having their stock in the low $20 range, No. 1 exhibitor AMC at the time of this report is seeing it surge to $29.04, +4.59.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ $50M Preview Easily Pandemic Record, All-Time For Sony; Beats ‘Last Jedi’ & ‘Infinity War’; $100M Friday Likely
Who says people love to stay home and stream movies?
Proving that theatrical is still king, Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home rang up a massive $50M, the third-best preview night ever and the most money Sony has ever seen for a Thursday preview night.
It easily buries the previous high we’ve seen during the pandemic, that being for Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow at $13.2M. It also blows away Sony’s previous Thursday preview high, which was for Spider-Man: Homecoming — the first Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man — which minted $15.4M in 2017.
Among the all-time Thursday preview records — and granted that Spider-Man screenings started at 3 p.m. — the pic ranks behind 2019’s Avengers: Endgame ($60M, off 6 p.m. showtime starts) and 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($57M).
Sources tell me that a $100M opening day for the Jon Watts-directed multiverse title is likely, and even if it falls short, that’s still nothing to cry about because Spider-Man: No Way Home is the biggest movie we’ve seen in a long time. Avengers: Endgame‘s Thursday repped 38% of its first $157.46M opening day, Force Awakens’ preview night repped 48% of its $119.1M Friday, while Last Jedi‘s $45M Thursday represented 43% of its $104.7M Friday.
Overall box office analytics firm EntTelligence reports that more than 3.7M people saw Spider-Man: No Way Home on Thursday night, 95% of all tickets being sold after 3 p.m. On average, exhibition had 16 showtimes for the film on the night. Moviegoers paid an average of $13.56 per ticket.
Out of the gate, Spider-Man: No Way Home gets five stars on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak from general audiences and a massive 95% positive rating and an awesome 89% definite recommend. Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s Thursday night crowd — and we do mean that — was 65% men, 35% women. Men under 25 led at 38% (best grade with 98%), men under 25 were 27% (95% grade), women under 25 were 21% (94%), while women over 25 repped 14% (88%). Spidey pulled in 33% Caucasian, 33% Hispanic and Latino, 17% Black and 13% Asian. The 18-34 moviegoing demo represented a huge 75% of last night’s tickets sales. Those over 45 were 6%. Parents loved No Way Home, giving it five stars and 100% across all demos, while kids under 12 were a little picky, giving it 4.5 stars but a total positive of 96%.
Before Sony made its preview number official this morning, No. 1 and 3 circuits AMC and Cinemark already were declaring records, along with online ticket seller Fandango. Imax also had plenty to brag about with a $10.1M WW haul for No Way Home, $5.14M coming from domestic — making it the large format exhibitor’s third-biggest Thursday night ever.
AMC saw its biggest opening night for the month of December and the second-best after Avengers: Endgame, with Spider-Man: No Way Home selling 1.1 million tickets in the U.S. on Thursday. That also was the single highest number of people watching one movie on one day at AMC’s U.S. theaters during all of calendar years 2020 and 2021.
“Needless to say, we are ever so happy to see a record-setting number of people returning to the cinema to capture the magic offered at AMC movie theatres,” AMC Chairman and CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “Yesterday for its opening night, we hosted some 1.1 million guests to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home at our U.S. theatres. Our congratulations go to Sony Pictures for this wonderfully successful new movie.”
Aron added, “Spider-Man clearly indicates to us that consumers in large numbers desire the experience that only AMC theaters can provide, and our amazing theatre teams were prepared for the moment.”
The circuit’s share price has been down from its $30-$40 price levels of November, currently at $28.87. But AMC saw pickup this morning thanks to Spidey, +4.48 at the time of this report.
Meanwhile, Cinemark saw its biggest opening night of all time, while also setting a first-night record for their PLF XD auditoriums.
“Moviegoers flocked to our theaters last night to experience Spider-Man: No Way Home in a state-of-the-art cinematic environment, setting multiple Cinemark all-time records,” said Justin McDaniel, Cinemark’s SVP Global Content. “The sheer volume of people who came to see this film on the biggest screen, many for the first time since the pandemic, underscores the irreplaceable value of the in-theater experience, which we are thrilled to continue to offer in collaboration with our studio partners. Congratulations to the entire Sony team for a remarkable opening performance for their latest blockbuster.”
Fandango says that Spider-Man: No Way Home is already its top ticket seller of the year, outstripping all the tickets sold for the entire theatrical runs of any 2020 or 2021 title including previous ticketing champ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. On Thursday, Fandango saw its top-performing preview day since Avengers: Endgame (Thursday, April 25, 2019) with No Way Home; it even surpassed Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Thursday, December 19, 2019).
Searchlight held previews for Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, which is opening in 2,120 theaters. The pic posted $225K last night. A single digit opening for the 2 1/2 hour movie is expected. PostTrak audiences gave the pic an 80% positive and 57% definite recommend. The 18-34 demo repped 56% of all ticket buyers with 24% over 45. Men over 25 at 44% and women over 25 at 30% were the leading demos. Those 13-17 (5%) and 45-54 (9%) gave del Toro’s latest a perfect score.
We’ll have more updates for you as they come.