The final day of the past year and the first two of the new one have come and gone, and the box office is being hit with both record highs and frustrating lows. The week between Christmas and New Year’s featured a countdown of its own, as everyone waited to see when a certain Marvel film was going to hit its next milestone. On Monday, Spider-Man: No Way Home was in 16th place. Come Tuesday, it was up to 14th. By Wednesday, another two notches to 12th, and on Thursday, up to 11th. By the end of this weekend, Spider-Man: No Way Home will have passed Titanic’s original domestic gross and become of the 10 highest-grossing films of all time.
(Photo by ©Sony Pictures Releasing)
Seems on point that we would open 2022 with a reference to Titanic, given the shifts likely to come to theatrical exhibition if this country can’t stop ignoring advice on the pandemic. We can only hope the millions who have seen Spider-Man: No Way Home at least once have led the way by getting fully vaccinated, boosted, and wearing an extra set of masks. That said, the film itself cracked the $600 million mark domestically in its 17th day with another $52.7 million this weekend, a feat only achieved by Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Endgame, the two highest-grossing films of all time. Re-releases of Titanic (including in 3-D) elevated it to 6th place all time. No Way Home currently sits in 10th place, with The Last Jedi’s $620.1 million and The Avengers’ $623.3 million in its sights within the next 48 hours.
No other films had even reached $550 million in their first 17 days, and now the watch becomes academic to see if (or when) No Way Home passes $700 million. (The four other Marvel films last year grossed $785+ million… combined.) Right now it is nearly $60 million ahead of Infinity War’s pace and over $100 million ahead of Black Panther, which took 171 days to reach that number. Many schools are still off this week, so the weekday numbers should still be solid and could elevate it to $650 million even before Friday. Then, just as the new Scream film is hitting theaters to dethrone it after four weeks, it should hit $700 million and settle in to become the third-highest-grossing film of all time. At that point we will watch to see how far up the worldwide ladder it can climb. Currently it sits at $1.37 billion, ahead of Black Panther for 12th place all time.
(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)
While Encanto crossed the $90 million line this week, it’s Sing 2 that’s about to become the first animated film to cross $100 million during the pandemic. Encanto’s total is actually more impressive in that it is one of the few original films to put up numbers in that area. The highest animated grossers before it were The Croods: A New Age, The Boss Baby: Family Business, and The Addams Family 2. Sing 2 finds itself at about the same amount that Ghostbusters: Afterlife had after 12 days. That film is up to over $123 million this weekend, and Sing 2 could easily surpass that, as it is pretty much the only other film families are going out to theaters for.
On the flip side, people are certainly not making the trek to theaters for The Matrix Resurrections, which fell behind even The King’s Man this weekend. The fourth film in the series dropped 64% to just $3.8 million and has made a paltry $30.9 million to date. That is less than Mortal Kombat had made in its first 12 days, and it will not even reach what Tom & Jerry grossed back in late winter and early Spring just as vaccine counts were starting to kick upwards. Fox’s The King’s Man is nothing to write home about either, grossing $3.9 million this weekend and coming in just shy of $20 million. There appears to be room only for a certain pair of IP titles this holiday season.
Would it surprise you, given all the talk about the underperformance of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, that it could still end up being the third-highest-grossing film released in December? The Matrix Resurrections currently holds that slot, but only by about $1.3 million after outgrossing Spielberg’s remake $3.8 million to $2.1 million, with the latter about to cross $30 million this week. That $2.1 million was only a 26% drop compared to Matrix’s 72%, and given West Side is still a few weeks away from being available to stream, it could manage to overtake Matrix once again. The King’s Man is not going to beat it, and neither is American Underdog, which made $4.1 million this weekend, bringing its total to $15 million and putting it ahead of Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers, which has grossed as much as Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza combined.
(Photo by Universal Pictures)
Next Week, Universal releases Simon Kinberg’s action film The 355, with Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Lupita Nyong’o. If Sing 2 holds strong, the studio could find itself in the #2 and #3 slots as Spider-Man takes another victory lap, but the numbers are not expected to be high.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]