‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Becomes First Pandemic-era Film to Break $1 Billion

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Becomes First Pandemic-era Film to Break $1 Billion
Photo: Sony Pictures

Marvel and Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ has become the highest-grossing movie of 2021 with an impressive haul topping $1 billion.

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ is the first movie released in the pandemic era to hit $1 billion at the global box office. The Sony and Disney blockbuster superhero movie reached $1.05 billion to become the highest-grossing movie of 2021. Before the pandemic struck, the last movie to reach the billion-dollar mark was 2019′s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”.

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ beat out “The Battle of Lake Changjin,” a Chinese film released in November. The latter had garnered a respectable $904.9 million worldwide in a year that was particularly hard for most movie production companies. This was because Covid forced governments worldwide to shutter many outdoor establishments – including film houses and movie theaters. These establishments are how several production companies look to recoup most of the expenses incurred in producing and promoting movie projects.

Movie-viewing audiences instead resorted to streaming platforms such as Netflix, and HBO to satisfy their entertainment cravings. Even after some movie-viewing establishments were allowed to reopen, the number of recorded customers was still below the pre-pandemic average.

Analysts Commend the ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Achievement

As uncertainties still run rampant owing to emerging variants of Covid, including Omicron, “Spider-Man: No Way Home”’s recent feat is more remarkable. According to senior media analyst at Comscore, Paul Dergarabedian:

″‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’s” sprint to $1 billion within the context of this still pandemically-challenged marketplace is nothing short of astonishing. 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.”

Furthermore, analysts project that ‘No Way Home’ will pull around $81.5 million during its second weekend. This is due to the strong showings of audiences returning to movie theaters for repeat viewings – typical for movies of this kind. Furthermore, although the given projection represents a 69% drop from the debut, it is still a laudable feat. Traditionally, MCU movies drop between 50% to 70% between their first and second weekends.

Sony and the MCU’s ‘Spider-Man’ Movie Projects Have Consistently Flirted with the $1 Billion Benchmark

No Way Home’s recent achievement is also a testament to the winning formula engineered between the MCU and Sony. Although the movie source material is a staple of Marvel, Sony currently has the movie rights to Spider-Man. However, both platforms reached an agreement where they would share the Spiderman intellectual property and mutually benefit as a result. Part of this entailed Sony financing the projects, but MCU adopting it into their slate of other movies in an interconnected universe.

Previous Spiderman entries into the MCU under this agreement have also seen massive success. For instance, 2017′s ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ was the second-highest box office run of any Spiderman movie released in theaters. It earned $880.4 million worldwide. Meanwhile, 2019’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ raked in $1.132 billion in global ticket sales. This made it the highest-grossing Spiderman film and the first to breach $1 billion.

Disney Stock

Owing to this recent development, some analysts believe that the Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) stock could fare much better in 2022. The world-renowned entertainment company’s stock is down by 15% year to date, trailing the S&P 500’s 26% gain. However, an upcoming slate of promising movie projects throughout next year may be enough to drive Disney stock to $200. Furthermore, Disney’s theme parks may fare much better next year, assuming that the Omicron threat dissipates by Q1.

Conversely, analysts are also quick to point out that Disney stock could suffer further from divided attention from the company. The entertainment giant is gradually transitioning to a streaming-first business, sacrificing short-term profits for long-term potential.

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