‘Spider-Man’ To Top Box Office For 5th Weekend As No Wide Releases Open
Until just a few weeks ago, Spider-Man: No Way Home was set to face Spidey nemesis Morbius at the box office this weekend. Sony decided to push its “SSU” (Sony’s Spider-Man Universe) film starring Jared Leto back to April, and nothing has come to fill the vacated slot. Without any new wide releases, the webslinger will have yet another weekend where it rules the box office. After reclaiming the top spot from Scream last weekend, the MCU film is set to have its fifth number one weekend, a feat only a few films in recent decades have achieved.

If Spider-Man continues with its 30-40% drops, it will fall below $10 million in a weekend for the first time, and on Monday it fell below $1 million in a day for the first time. Of course, this is nothing to fret about for the fourth top domestic grosser ever, currently at $723 million. It will continue to inch closer toAvatar’s $760 million cume, and in the coming weeks we will see whether it has enough gas left in it to hurdle past that milestone to become the third biggest film of all time. It may get there slowly but surely, just as SSU film Venom: Let There Be Carnage passed the first Venom’s $213.5 million gross on Tuesday, the 117th day of its release.

Despite No Way Home’s still impressive numbers, last weekend’s overall box office ($45.7 million) was the third lowest since last May before the summer blockbuster season started with Cruella and A Quiet Place Part II. This weekend could end up with the lowest overall box office since then if it falls below September 24-26’s $38.8 million overall gross, and it may even end up as the lowest grossing weekend of the year.

Scream should end up in second place again, and we shall see if it holds pace with the successful sequels Scream 2 and Scream 3. It is currently less than 10% behind both films when looking at their cumes after weekend two, and it is already around 40% ahead of the disappointing fourth installment’s final gross.

Notable among the new limited releases is Sony Pictures Classics Compartment Number 6, which shared the Grand Prix award at Cannes last year. The acclaimed film (88% on Rotten Tomatoes) from director Juho Kuosmanen (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki) is in Russian and Finnish and takes place largely on a train, telling the story of a Finnish student who bonds with the Russian miner she is sharing a sleeping compartment with. Compartment No. 6 is Finland’s Oscar entry and it has made the short list to become a potential nominee.

Also releasing in limited is Clean from IFC. Adrien Brody stars and Paul Solet directs. Solet wrote the script with Brody, who is making his screenwriting debut in this crime tale of a garbage man with a dark past. Reviews thus far are mostly negative (38% on Rotten Tomatoes). Better reviewed are Charli XCX: Alone Together (92% on Rotten Tomatoes), the documentary from Greenwich about the pop star, and Sundown (73% on Rotten Tomatoes), the drama from Bleecker Street starring Tim Roth and Charlotte Gainsbourg and directed by Mexican auteur Michel Franco.

While uncertainty remains about both the box office and the pandemic, January will likely go down as one of the year’s lowest grossing months, if not the lowest grossing month. Between the Omicron wave, only a single significant new release, and all December releases other than Spider-Man and Sing 2 running out of steam before the new year, January hardly stood a chance. However, February is looking brighter, and 2022’s box office should finally get under way as the next month sees the releases of Jackass Forever, Moonfall, Marry Me, Death on the Nile, Dog, Uncharted, and Cyrano, among others. The box office fate of these titles is unknown, but the consistent slate of promising wide releases should push us well beyond the doldrums of January and ferry us to The Batman, which awaits in March, with a blockbuster packed summer to follow.