Spider-Man earns $346m in North American opening, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Spider-Man earns $346m in North American opening

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Covid-schmovid: Sony and Marvel's new Spider-Man: No Way Home scored the third biggest North American opening of all time, taking in an estimated US$253 million (S$346 million) in its massive opening weekend.

Box-office watchers are spinning hopeful predictions, with analysts eyeing it as the pandemic era's first billion-dollar-grossing film. Its box-office sales trail only 2019's Avengers: Endgame (US$357 million) and 2018's Avengers: Infinity War (US$258 million), according to the BoxOfficeMojo website.

Spider-Man easily surpassed early estimates of US$130 million to US$150 million.

The superhero blockbuster is well on its way to earning US$600 million overseas, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday. And this comes as cinemas continue to battle their way back from months-long Covid-19-induced closures.

"This is an incredible opening," said Mr David Gross, who runs Franchise Entertainment Research.

While most big series struggle to keep their momentum, he added, "Spider-Man is exploding".

Analysts, however, warn that the industry's recovery still has a long way to go, especially amid fears of a new surge in coronavirus cases fuelled by the Omicron variant.

The latest Spider-Man instalment is British star Tom Holland's third solo outing in the role, played in earlier films by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

The web-slinger has form when it comes to big openings. The original film starring Maguire in 2002 was the first movie in cinematic history to gross more than US$100 million over its debut weekend.

No Way Home picks up directly after 2019's Far From Home, which saw Peter Parker publicly unmasked by the villainous Mysterio.

For No Way Home to break US$1 billion worldwide, it will need to do well in China, where it has yet to be granted a release date.

Although this year is on course to roughly double movie theatres' box-office take of last year, there have been more misses than hits.

Films leaning towards older audiences, such as director Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, have generally bombed, opening to just US$10.5 million the previous weekend.