• Box Office

World Box Office, December 20 – 26, 2021

Earning $1 billion globally in record time, Spider-Man: No Way Home continues to sling its strong web grip on both the domestic and international box office.

What’s phenomenal about Tom Holland’s latest Spider-Man outing is that it became the first pandemic-era movie to cross the $1 billion global milestone without the benefit of a release in China.

The Jon Watts-directed blockbuster also beat China’s The Battle at Lake Changjin as the world’s biggest-grossing movie this year. That’s an impressive feat since The Battle at Lake Changjin earned a staggering $902 million globally.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe epic claimed other boasting rights – it is the first movie since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to hit the $1 billion global benchmark; all-time records of being the second-biggest grossing in December; and the third biggest for a superhero film.

Domestically, Peter Parker and his web-slinging alter ego spun $81.5 million on the sophomore frame, considered a no-mean feat since the COVID-19 variant, Omicron, was thought to be dampening enthusiasm to return to the cineplexes.

The movie, also featuring Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Batalon, Jamie Foxx, Jon Favreau, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, and Andrew Garfield, attained all these feats even with the arrival of at least five new releases.

Of these newcomers, Sing 2 sang its way to second place in the domestic charts. The sequel, directed by Garth Jennings and voiced by Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Bono, Tori Kelly and Taron Egerton, tapped audiences looking for family fare at Christmas and scored $23.76 million.

Keanu Reeves’ The Matrix Resurrections could only manage a third spot debut and $12 million. Those numbers for the movie, directed for the first time by only one of the Wachowskis, Lana, comprised the lowest debut in the film series.

Box office pundits partially attributed the dismal figures to the movie’s availability on HBO Max. Franchise fatigue and a generation not familiar with The Matrix series were also cited for the less-than-stellar opening of the latest installment which sees the return of Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity.

Another installment of a series that landed with a thud was The King’s Man, which settled for fourth and a $6.35 million opening. The Matthew Vaughn-directed prequel features Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans and Daniel Brühl.

The faith-based biopic drama, American Underdog, scored $6.2 million. Directed by Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, the film tackling the story of NFL MVP and Hall of Famer quarterback Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi) made it to the top five in the box office race.

Making up the rest of the top ten were, in order: West Side Story ($2.8 million); Licorice Pizza ($2.33 million); A Journal for Jordan ($2.2 million), starring Michael B. Jordan and directed by Denzel WashingtonEncanto ($2 million); and ’83, which dramatizes India’s Cricket World Cup victory in 1983 ($1.76 million).

Overseas, Spider-Man: No Way Home amassed $121.4 million and added to its $587.1 million offshore total so far. The webbed slinger was big everywhere, especially in the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Thailand, Mexico, Australia, Russia, Korea, Germany and Italy

Sony Pictures’ biggest hit ever is now also IMAX’s biggest earner globally.

The rest of the offshore top performers were The Matrix Resurrections ($35.2 million), which has an ace up its sleeve – it’s the only new Hollywood film with a China release date, January 14; Sing 2 ($24.8 million); and The King’s Man ($6.9 million in seven territories).