Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man has saved the day, read: Box office, with the latest instalment in the superhero franchise.
Spider-Man: No Way Home crushed its opening weekend at the global box office, netting an eye-watering $US587 million ($826 million).
That makes it the third-biggest worldwide debut in history, behind Avengers: Endgame in 2019 and Avengers: Infinity War in 2018, which grossed $US1.2 billion ($1.7 billion) and $US640 million ($900 million) respectively.
It’s also the first pandemic-era film to crack $US100 million ($140 million) in its opening weekend at the North American box office, according to industry publication Variety.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the sequel to the 2018 movie, came close with $US90 million ($127 million) in October.
Superheroes reign supreme
Spider-Man: No Way Home raked in $US253 million ($356 million) in its opening weekend in North America, the third-biggest domestic debut.
Unsurprisingly, the top 10 biggest weekend openings in North America are dominated by films from Walt Disney Studios.
Some of its marquee brands include Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.
According to IMDb’s Box Office Mojo, the top 10 biggest opening weekends in North America are:
- Avengers: Endgame (2019) – $US357,115,007 ($502,582,591)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – $US257,698,183 ($362,669,219)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) – $US253,000,000 ($356,057,273)
- Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – $US247,966,675 ($348,973,668)
- Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) – $US220,009,584 ($309,628,508)
- Jurassic World (2015) – $US208,806,270 ($293,861,625)
- The Avengers (2012) – $US207,438,708 ($291,936,999)
- Black Panther (2018) – $US202,003,951 ($284,288,442)
- The Lion King (2019) – $US191,770,759 ($269,886,852)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – $US191,271,109 ($269,183,674)
All but two of these 10 films were distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Spider-Man: No Way Home was co-produced by Marvel Studios, but its distributor is Sony Pictures, while Jurassic World was distributed by Universal Pictures.
Looking at the list, superhero films – especially Avengers: Endgame – truly dominate.
Six of the top 10 movies are superhero-themed, with the top three set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, Endgame isn’t the top-grossing film of all time.
That title belongs to James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), which grossed a monstrous $US2.8 billion worldwide.
The movie was distributed by 20th Century Studios, formerly known as 20th Century Fox, which is now part of – you guessed it – The Walt Disney Company.
Cameron is slated to release four more films from the Avatar universe, with the second movie to premiere late next year.
Avatar 3 is due in 2024 and the fourth and fifth movies are currently set for 2026 and 2028.
Spider-Man wins hearts
In an attempt to return things to normal, Peter asks his ‘colleague’ Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell, making the world forget that he’s Spider-Man.
But the spell goes wrong – terribly wrong – unleashing a multiverse of villains from the universe of other Spider-Men, including Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin/Norman Osborn, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Otto Octavius and Jamie Foxx’s Electro.
No Way Home currently sits on a 94 per cent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an audience score of 99 per cent.
Critics and fans alike praised the film for being both exhilarating and emotional, and a total celebration of the Spider-Man franchise.
Viewers were especially taken by Dafoe’s performance as the Green Goblin. He starred in Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man films in the 2000s.
Dafoe, 66, said in a press interview for Sony that he would only reprise his role if he could do his own stunts.
When he discussed his potential return with director Jon Watts and producer Amy Pascal, Dafoe explained that doing the action sequences was important to him.
“One of the first things I said to Jon and Amy, basically when they pitched it to me, before there was even a script, was, ‘Listen, I don’t want to just pop in there as a cameo or just fill in in close-ups. I want to do the action because that’s fun for me,” Dafoe said.
“It’s really impossible to add any integrity or any fun to the character if you don’t participate in these things because all that action stuff informs your relationship to the characters and the story, and also it makes you earn your right to play the character.”
Spider-Man: No Way Home is in cinemas now