Sony’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” continued its box office domination heading into the holiday weekend, shattering records as it looked well-positioned to be the film to watch over New Year’s Eve.
The superhero sequel caught $20.6 million in its web on Thursday. That pushed its domestic haul to $557.1 million and allowed the film to supplant the 2019 remake of “The Lion King” as the 11th highest-grossing stateside release in history.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” stars Tom Holland as the web-slinging title hero and brings back Zendaya, Marisa Tomei and Jacob Batalon. The film’s multiverse-spanning plot pits Spidey against villains such as Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman, Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Willem Dafoe’s The Green Goblin — who appeared in Spider-Man films that featured Holland’s predecessors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in the role. Jon Watts, who oversaw the previous two films in the Holland trilogy, returned as director.
The superhero flick has easily become the year’s top-grossing domestic release and stands as the only Hollywood film to pass the $1 billion mark at the global box office since COVID-19 upended the theatrical exhibition business. The success of “Spider-Man” has energized cinemas, which hope the film will represent a turning point after months of tepid business. But the emergence of the fast-spreading Omicron variant could complicate that recovery.
As it stands, the domestic box office is expected to top out at $4.4 billion in revenues. That’s a 91% increase from 2020, a year when ticket sales sank to $2.2 billion, a 40-year low. It’s also down approximately 61% from 2019, a pre-pandemic year in which hits like “Avengers: Endgame” and “Toy Story 4” pushed overall grosses to $11.4 billion.