‘Spider-Man’ Swings Past $1 Billion Worldwide While New Christmas Releases Pile Up In Scrum For Box-Office Leftovers
It was a Merry Christmas and then some for Peter Parker as the skyscraper-swinging superhero’s latest adventure, Spider-Man: No Way Home, soared past the $1 billion barrier at the global box office in just its second week of release. That makes Sony’s smash hit not only the fastest blockbuster to accomplish that ten-figure feat since 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but also the first billion-dollar grosser worldwide since the pandemic began.But while Spidey was busy fighting crime (and raking in loot), the holiday’s slate of new releases—Sing 2, The Matrix Resurrections, The King's Man, American Underdog, and A Journal for Jordan—were left to divvy up the box-office leftovers with varying degrees of success. A week after becoming the first film of 2021 to rake in more than $100 million in its opening frame, No Way Home continued to rule the multiplex, crossing the billion-dollar benchmark in a mere 12 days. That pace puts the film in some pretty elite company—only two films have reached $1 billion in receipts faster: 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. But Spidey’s feat is especially impressive considering what’s going outside of theaters this winter, as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to spread like wildfire. But apparently that appears to be just one more foe that Spidey doesn’t mind going up against.

In its sophomore weekend, Sony’s PG-13-rated blockbuster, which stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, and Benedict Cumberbatch, made $85.1 million, representing a drop off -68.7% from the previous session. Playing in 4,336 theaters, No Way Home scored an $18,796 per-screen average. Its two-week domestic total now stands at $467.3 million (already double the total domestic haul of this year’s next-highest grosser, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings!). No Way Home’s $587.1 million from overseas puts its current cumulative worldwide gross at $1.05 billion—and it hasn’t even opened in China yet.

As for the rest of the Top 5, a slew of new releases was forced to fight over Spider-Man’s box-office crumbs. Since the Christmas holiday is traditionally a launchpad for new releases aimed at either school kids on vacation or grown-ups paying attention to last-minute Oscar hopefuls, there was no shortage of new titles in theaters. Universal’s Sing 2 took the prize for the best debut amongst the incoming class of new releases. The sequel to 2016’s Sing bowed to just under $23.8 million over its first weekend and took in $41.1 million in its first five days. The PG-rated animated musical featuring the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Nick Kroll, and Bono, unspooled in 3,892 theaters and snagged a $6,104 per-screen average. Audiences were smitten with the film, giving it a rare ‘A+’ CinemaScore grade. The first Sing opened to $54.9 in its first five days back in 2016. Overseas, the family-friendly sequel pulled in an additional $24.8 million, bringing its total worldwide gross to roughly $65.8 million.

Finishing in third place over the holiday was Warner Bros.’ sci-fi sequel The Matrix Resurrections, which walked off with a less-than-expected $12 million over the weekend and $22.5 million in its first five days. Audiences gave the film a less-than-stellar ‘B-‘ CinemaScore grade. The fourth film in the trippy, down-the-rabbit-hole saga once again starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss earned a $3,378 per-screen average in 3,552 locations. No doubt those numbers would have been higher had the film not aired on HBO Max simultaneous to its theatrical release, but with the studio keeping their viewership data close to its vest, it’s difficult to know for sure how many people caught up with Neo’s latest red pill/blue pill adventure. Overseas, however, the film fared better, pulling in $47.3 million. Resurrections’ one-week worldwide cume currently stands at $69.8 million. In fourth was 20th Century Studios’ prequel to the dapper Kingsman action franchise, The King’s Man, with just under $6.4 million in its opening weekend and $10 million in its first five days. The R-rated table-setter, which stars Ralph Fiennes and chronicles how the secret society came to be, earned a $1,996 per-screen average at 3,180 locations and piled on an additional $6.9 million abroad, bringing its global box-office total to $16.9 million in receipts after one week.

In fifth place was Lionsgate’s American Underdog with $6.2 million in its first frame. 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 has not opened outside of North America yet. Meanwhile, bubbling below the Top 5 were three more titles of note this weekend: After posting eye-popping per-screen numbers in limited release the past month, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘70s-set coming-of-age awards hopeful, Licorice Pizza, finally opened wide on Christmas day and landed in seventh place, pulled in $2.3 million over the weekend; the Denzel Washington-directed drama A Journal for Jordan, starring Michael B. Jordan as a soldier who leaves written advice behind for his son before heading off to war, opened in the eighth slot with $2.2 million; and legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s latest import, Parallel Mothers, starring Penelope Cruz, opened in just three theaters and slid into seventeenth place with an impressive $13,692 per-screen average. Happy New Year, everyone!