‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ becomes first pandemic-era film to break $1 billion at global box office


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Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch star as Peter Parker and Doctor Strange in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” has done what few thought was possible during the pandemic era — top $1 billion at the global box office.

The co-production between Sony and Disney is now the first film to surpass this benchmark during the pandemic and has also claimed the title of highest-grossing movie of 2021. The last release to exceed $1 billion was 2019’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” according to data from Comscore.

The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film reached $1.05 billion at the global box office over the Christmas weekend, beating out “The Battle of Lake Changjin,” a Chinese film released in November that has garnered $904.9 million worldwide.

“‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’s’ sprint to $1 billion within the context of this still pandemically-challenged marketplace is nothing short of astonishing,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “It demonstrates the power of a great movie to draw fans around the world to enjoy the shared and communal experience that only the movie theater can provide.”

Audiences flocked to theaters last weekend to catch “No Way Home” before potential spoilers could be leaked online. Now, they are returning for repeat viewings, a common occurrence for MCU movies.

Domestically, “No Way Home” is expected to tally around $81.5 million during its second weekend, a projected 69% drop from its debut. Most MCU films drop between 50% and 70% between their first and second weekend.

“The partnership between these two Hollywood entities is clearly one of great benefit to both,” BoxOffice.com chief analyst Shawn Robbins said of Sony and Disney.

The two companies brokered a deal that would allow the Sony-owned Spider-Man to appear in Marvel’s cinematic universe. The agreement not only meant that Marvel would be involved in Spider-Man’s solo projects, which were financed by Sony, but that the character could appear in other Marvel films.

Tom Holland, who portrays the newest iteration of Peter Parker, has now appeared in six Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including three solo features. Disney and Sony renegotiated this deal in 2019 to split production costs and box office receipts.

2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” generated the second-highest box office run of any Spider-Man film released in theaters with its $880.4 million worldwide haul, according to Comscore data. Then 2019’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” became the highest-grossing Spidey film and first to top $1 billion, with $1.132 billion in global ticket sales.

“The symbiotic circle they form could reap rewards for a long time to come, and with characters beyond just Spider-Man, if it continues to flourish creatively,” Robbins said. “The results of the past few years have shown it to be in the best interest of everyone for such a partnership to endure, and perhaps even inspire other tag-teams throughout the industry.”

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