‘Spider-Man’ Keeps Swinging, This Time Past $600 Million At Domestic Box Office
In like a lamb and out like a lion. That saying pretty much sums up 2021 at the box office. After an unpredictable twelve-month period of peaks and valleys in the theatrical movie business due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the year ended on a triumphant note thanks to Sony’s mega-blockbuster, Spider-Man: No Way Home. Adding another $52.7 million to its coffers over New Year’s weekend, the superhero tentpole soared past the $600 million mark in North America, making it the tenth-highest grossing movie domestically of all time, helping to push the year’s total box-office numbers up significantly from 2020—but still a long way off from the pre-pandemic good old days.

With no major new competition hitting multiplexes over the holiday frame, No Way Home had another clear path to the top spot. In its third week of release, the PG-13 smash dropped -37.7% from the previous weekend, earning a $12,529 per-screen average in 4,206 theaters and putting its total domestic haul at a staggering $609 million. The film, which stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, and Benedict Cumberbatch, continues to shatter box-office records left and right. Its latest triumph: leapfrogging Disney’s Incredibles 2 to join the elite list of the Top 10 domestic earners of all time. Next to fall is ninth-place holder, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Spidey’s feat is especially significant since it comes in the midst of the latest spike in the coronavirus pandemic. On the international front, Peter Parker and company’s latest outing has raked in $759 million from overseas markets, bringing its worldwide cume to $1.37 billion…and counting.

Overshadowed by all of the Spider-Man record breaking was the continued success of Universal’s Sing 2, which once again did boffo business in its sophomore weekend in theaters, finishing in second place. The PG-rated sequel collected $19.6 million and dipped only -12.2% from the prior session. Earning a $5,036 per-screen average at 3,892 locations, the animated musical featuring the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Nick Kroll, and Bono has racked up $89.7 million after two weeks of domestic release. Sing 2 has added $54.9 million internationally so far, bringing its two-week global total to $144.6 million. As rosy as that news is, though, the sequel is still tracking well behind the grosses of its 2016 franchise-starter, which ultimately pulled in $270.4 million in North America and $634.2 million worldwide.

In third place this week was 20th Century Studios’ prequel to the dapper Kingsman action franchise,The King's Man, with $4.5 million in its second frame. The R-rated origin story, which stars Ralph Fiennes, fell off only -23.9% from the prior weekend and earned a $1,415 per-screen average in 3,180 theaters. The King’s Man hold was better than expected as the film saw its two-week domestic haul reach $19.5 million. The latest chapter has done slightly better abroad, where it has pulled in $28.3 million, putting its cumulative global box-office at $47.8 million.

Finishing in fourth place was Lionsgate’s American Underdog with just under $4.1 million in its second weekend. The PG-rated sports drama about real-life NFL star Kurt Warner and his inspirational rise from supermarket check-out clerk to Super Bowl quarterback slid -30.8% from its opening frame, nabbing a $1,448 per-screen average in 2,813 theaters. Thanks to its solid word of mouth from appreciative audiences, the crowd-pleaser has taken in $15 million in its first two weeks of domestic release. It has not opened outside of North America yet.

Rounding out the top five was Warner Bros.’ The Matrix Resurrections, which continues to limp along, falling a hefty -68.1% in its second weekend while taking in an underwhelming $3.8 million in domestic receipts. The fourth film in the trippy, down-the-rabbit-hole saga starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss earned a $1,076 per-screen average at 3,552 locations. After two weeks, the R-rated Resurrections has scraped up just $30.9 million in North America, where its haul has no doubt been diminished by the film’s simultaneous availability on HBO Max. Overseas, where the at-home streamer is not an option, the film fared much better (but still not great), pulling in $75.1 million to date. Its two-week worldwide theatrical cume is $106 million On one final, year-capping note: as the curtain on 2021 finally closed and the previous twelve months’ total domestic box-office numbers were tallied up, overall North American revenues finished at $4.4 billion for the year. That figure marked a sorely needed rebound from the red ink-stained annus horribilis of 2020 as the domestic box office rose 91%. However, 2021’s slow recovery is still a long way off from the pre-pandemic boom times, as this year’s box-office total was down -61% from the pre-COVID year of 2019. Here’s to a booming 2022!