Spider-Man: No Way Home
Photo: Sony Pictures
Much to nobody’s surprise, Spider-Man: No Way Home made a ton of money this weekend—enough for it to have the third-biggest worldwide opening of all time and the second-biggest domestic opening of all time, pandemic be damned—and now box office experts are racking their brains to try and solve the mystery of how this movie found so much success when nearly every other movie is struggling to get much attention in theaters.
We’re not box office experts here, we merely have an academic curiosity about it, but it seems likely to us that Spider-Man: No Way Home made a lot of money because… it’s a movie about Spider-Man, one of the most beloved superheroes across multiple generations. Also, it’s a known-quantity superhero movie that went straight to theaters, with no option to stream it at home, so people would want to see it no matter what. Also, people are sick of worrying about COVID, and it was just a matter of time before something caused the dam to burst, which every movie studio has been betting on since last fall.
But let’s hear what the experts had to say: Variety ran the numbers and determined that Spider-Man is a popular character, having appeared in nine standalone movies in two decades (counting Into The Spider-Verse) and a handful of the biggest movies of all time beyond that—to say nothing of the Venom movies, which are propping up Sony’s nascent Spidey-related cinematic universe—which account for trillions of dollars in box office money.
David A. Gross, owner of film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, told Variety that “most big series struggle to maintain their success this late in their run,” but 20 years in, “Spider-Man is exploding.” That’s a bit like being surprised that one McDonalds location can make money even after every other McDonalds location has made money, but it is probably fair to point out that people started to get pretty sick of Star Wars after Disney released the last movie, and Spider-Man is as popular ever (if not more popular).
Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro, gave Variety some more useful information, noting that each of these superhero movies “is its own …….