Spider-Man: No Way Home made a massive $50 million dollars during its opening Thursday night screenings. That’s a record for the pandemic-era; the previous biggest opening was July’s Black Widow, which made $13.2 million during preview screenings.
No Way Home’s opening box office haul is the third-highest of all time for a Thursday night, per Deadline. The two films ahead of it? 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, which pulled $60 million, and 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which netted $57 million.
The newest Spider-Man installment is projected to be the first pandemic-era movie to cross over the $100 million mark for its opening weekend, with final estimates between $150 and $180 million. That’s partially because of great advance-sales numbers.
But those box office estimates could be wrong, since the movie is unfortunately being released just as the Omicron COVID variant is beginning to pick up steam stateside. In New York City, Broadway shows and the Radio City Rockettes have already had to cancel shows this week due to COVID outbreaks. Anxious moviegoers might decide to risk being spoiled and wait a week or two before heading out to see Spidey and friends.
The new movie has, of course, been subject to tons of speculation, since trailers revealed that Spider-Man villains from previous films—most notably, Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock—would be crossing into the current MCU canon. Andrew Garfield and Tobey McGuire have also been heavily rumored to reprise their own versions of Peter Parker in the movie, but Garfield denied it was true.
So far, 2021's box office winner has been Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which brought in $224 million domestically. Next was Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage which made an impressive $212 million. Black Widow followed with $183 million.
As the COVID situation continues to evolve, next year’s box office remains a mystery. Warner Bros. has insisted they’ll abandon their controversial HBO Max day-and-date release strategy for 2022, but it’s always possible they’ll change their minds if theaters start to close again.