‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ on pace to be the first and only billion-dollar movie of 2021

Tom Holland stars as Peter Parker in Marvel’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

Disney

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” has already smashed domestic box office records, and it is now out to tackle a feat no other film has managed in nearly two years — reaching $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

In less than a week in theaters, the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe flick topped $751.3 million worldwide, making it the third-highest grossing film of 2021, Sony reported Tuesday.

At present, the highest-grossing film of the year is “The Battle of Lake Changjin,” a Chinese film released in November that has garnered $904.9 million worldwide, according to Comscore data. Another Chinese film, “Hi, Mom,” which debuted in February, is the second-highest with $832.9 million in global ticket sales.

“I wouldn’t bet against Spider-Man and his ability to climb into the $1 billion box office club,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. 

After securing more than $600 million worldwide over its opening weekend, “No Way Home” has continued to tally strong ticket sales on Monday and Tuesday, generating more than $150 million at the global box office. Heading into the weekend, this trend is expected to continue.

Estimates suggest that the film will take in between 50% and 70% of its opening haul this upcoming weekend, which will easily lead “No Way Home” past the $1 billion mark.

If the film doesn’t surpass that figure this weekend, it will likely collect it sometime during the following week. Each year, the eight-day span between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve is one of the most lucrative periods in the movie theater industry. This stretch typically accounts for 4.5% of the full year box office receipts, according to data from Comscore.

“Exceeding $1 billion is a foregone conclusion at this point, barring any drastic turn of pandemic events,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “Considering how recently some doubted that the industry could see a performance on this scale anytime soon as the world grapples with Covid variants, vaccine distribution, and an assortment of market restrictions, it’s a remarkable achievement.”

Dergarabedian also warned that a surge in coronavirus cases and fears about the new omicron variant could temper the film’s ticket sales, especially if any regions decide to shutdown movie theaters again.

On Monday, Quebec shut down movie theaters across the province, but it’s unlikely that a similar move would occur in the U.S. As the pandemic has worn on month after month, there has been less of an appetite for mask mandates and even less for lockdowns.

“That said, this is a film that is seemingly impervious to all marketplace forces and operates in its own multiverse where the rule book doesn’t apply,” Dergarabedian said.

Audiences flocked to theaters over the weekend to catch “No Way Home” before potential spoilers could be leaked online. Now, they are returning for repeat viewings, something that is often seen with Marvel’s movies.

“$1 billion is a milestone that was starting to be taken for granted pre-pandemic,” said Jeff Bock, senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “This should be celebrated far and wide be cinema fans, as many believed the $1 billion milestone just wouldn’t be possible in this day and age.”