The box office is booming for the first time since the pandemic began. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” made $50 million in previews alone on Thursday, a spectacular start for a film that is expected to break box office records.
“No Way Home” from Sony Pictures was the third-highest-grossing preview of all time, trailing only “Avengers: Endgame” ($60 million) and “The Force Awakens” ($57 million). “No Way Home” began playing around 3 p.m. in 3,767 sites, up from late-night screenings previously.
The eye-popping figure for the Marvel film starring Tom Holland, however, could not be overstated. “No Way Home” is on track to become the first pandemic film to gross more than $100 million. It’s possible that it’ll reach $150 million. The previous best of the year was “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” a Marvel-Sony film that debuted with $90.1 million.
Even when the growing omicron variation forces closures in the entertainment industry, including multiple Broadway musicals, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” manages to cram cinemas. The box office had been sputtering back to life as recently as last week, when Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” opened weakly.
While some moviegoers, particularly older ticket buyers, have been wary, the younger, more loyal Marvel following has proven resilient to the epidemic of moviegoing issues. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” “Black Widow,” and “Eternals,” along with “No Way Home,” will make up five of the top six films of the year.