Never underestimate Spider-Man, even with a mutating coronavirus afoot. Despite rising concerns over the omicron variant, Spider-Man: No Way Home not only shattered pandemic-era box office records, it became the third-best opening of all time, behind Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War. The Sony and Marvel blockbuster grossed a stunning $253 million in ticket sales from 4,325 North American locations, the AP reports, according to studio estimates on Sunday. The web-slinger's success couldn't have come sooner for a movie business that has had a rollercoaster 2021 and could be headed for a difficult start to 2022 as the omicron variant forces event cancellations.
"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," said Tom Rothman, CEO of Sony Pictures. The studio had anticipated a pandemic-best opening of $130 million or so. But the film netted an incredible $121.5 million in its first day, a second-best showing. Star Tom Holland thanked audiences on Instagram for the record ticket sales. "You made this possible," the actor posted.
Before this weekend, Sony's Venom: Let There Be Carnage held the record for best opening of the pandemic with $90.1 million. But it wasn't all celebrations at the box office this weekend. High-profile casualties included Guillermo del Toro's star-studded Nightmare Alley, which grossed a mere $3 million from 2,145 theaters. And lest anyone was holding onto hopes that West Side Story would rebound from its lackluster start, the 20th Century Studios release fell 67% in its second weekend in theaters, bringing in only $3.4 million.
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