Box Office: ‘Spider-Man’ Tops ‘Black Panther’ With $1.37 Billion Cume

In the last weekend of 2021 and the first weekend of 2022, Spider-Man: No Way Home (review) held firm with a $52.7 million weekend gross. That is a decent 37% below its $84 million second weekend, giving it a $609.8million 17-day cume. The Force Awakens dropped 39% on its third weekend, albeit after a 39% second-weekend hold (No Way Home dropped 68% in weekend two). Meanwhile, Last Jedi dropped 27% after a 67% second weekend drop while Rise of Skywalker dropped 59% in weekend two and 53% in weekend three.  

In terms of “debut weekend to day 17” multipliers, it is dead even with The Last Jedi ($517 million/$220 million). That is encouraging, as Star Wars VIII earned 1.2x its respective day 17 total, which in this case would push Spider-Man 3 version 2.0 to $733 million domestic in the end. Legs like Rise of Skywalker (1.14x its respective 17-day total), Rogue One (1.25x) and Force Awakens (1.26x) would put Spider-Man: No Way Home between $697 million and $772 million domestic by the end.  

Yes, $800 million domestic is still unlikely, but No Way Home won’t have to contend with early-January break-out Oscar contenders like The Revenant ($184 million domestic), La La Land ($151 million), Hidden Figures ($169 million) or 1917 ($159 million). Nor will it have to deal with Last Jedi‘s one-two punch of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman. Unless Scream pulls a miracle over MLK weekend, there’s nothing for Peter Parker to worry about until ironically Sony’s own Morbius on January 28.  

It is past Incredibles 2 ($608 million in 2018) as the tenth-biggest unadjusted-for-inflation domestic earner, just under Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($620 million in 2017). Unless it crashes after the holidays, it’s looking to end up at least in fifth place on the all-timer’s list, behind only Black Panther ($700 million), Avatar ($760 million), Avengers: Endgame ($858 million) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($936 million). Ironically, Batman and Spider-Man ended their theatrical runs in the fifth spot in 1989 and 2002. 

In terms of inflated-adjusted grosses, it has sold more tickets in North America than Batman ($251 million in 1989/$590 million adjusted), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($378 million/$577 million) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($424 million/$605 million). It’s at 53rd on the all-time inflated-adjusted list, and a cume at least above $700 million would put between The Dark Knight ($532 million/$697 million) and Thunderball ($65 million/$701 million) in 33rd place. 

Among other Marvel/DC adaptations, its domestic cume is already ahead of everything save for Avengers ($623 million/$720 million adjusted), Avengers: Infinity War ($678 million), Black Panther ($700 million/$715 million adjusted) and Avengers: Endgame ($858 million/$892 million). Fun fact: If Spider-Man: No Way Home tops $715 million, it will have sold more tickets than any non-Avengers MCU movie in the same year where Eternals sold fewer tickets ($164 million) than any MCU movie ever.  

The Tom Holland/Zendaya flick has earned $1.37 billion worldwide. That puts it past the likes of The Last Jedi ($1.333 billion), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II ($1.34 billion) and Black Panther ($1.346 billion) to place 12th on the all-timer’s list. Among superhero flicks, it sits behind only the four official Avengers movies ($1.405 billion in 2015, $1.517 billion in 2012, $2.048 billion in 2018 and $2.8 billion in 2019), making Peter Parker officially… wait for it… Earth’s Mightiest Hero (“Fight as One” blares as everyone head-bangs accordingly).  

It was because of the 71% upswing in China for Avengers 4 (from $356 million for Infinity War to $620 million for Endgame) that the MCU epic temporarily passed Avatar as the biggest global grosser ever. And it was because of the 71% upswing from Spider-Man 1 version 3.0 (from $116 million for Homecoming to $199 million for Far from Home) that Spider-Man 2 version 3.0 passed Skyfall to become Sony’s biggest global grosser. Spider-Man: No Way is doing this without a penny from China. 

It’s now certain to pass Frozen II ($1.45 billion) to become the biggest global grosser since The Lion King ($1.66 billion), with (very rough math) a final cume of around $1.55-$1.65 billion even if it never plays in the world’s biggest overseas market. After a year when Detective Chinatown 3, Hi Mom and The Battle at Lake Changjin gross between $690 million and $905 million just in China, it’s nice to be reminded that Hollywood should treat Chinese box office as a bonus rather than a necessity. 

The Tycoon Herald