Expectations were high for Spider-Man: No Way Home, the much-anticipated third Tom Holland Spider-Man movie, and the latest — and one of the biggest — movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And the film exceeded all of those expectations, grossing an incredible $253 million from movie theaters around the country. That’s the third biggest domestic opening weekend in the history of cinema, behind only Avengers: Endgame’s $357.1 million and Avengers: Infinity War’s $257.6 million. Yes, Spider-Man: No Way Home made more in its opening weekend than Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which grossed $247.9 million in its opening weekend back in 2015).

Those numbers are even more impressive given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the recent rise in cases due to the delta and omicron variants. $253 million also makes Spider-Man: No Way Home the highest grossing movie of all of 2021 in the U.S. in just four days of release. The previous record holder was another Marvel movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. (The previous biggest opening weekend of 2021 was another Marvel movie, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which earned $90 million in its opening weekend back in October.) Obviously, that also makes No Way Home the biggest movie of the entire pandemic era.

According to Variety, the movie earned another $334 million overseas for a worldwide total of $587.2 million. That would make it the 6th biggest film of the year so far behind The Battle at Lake ChangjinHi, MomNo Time to DieF9, and Detective Chinatown 3.

Clearly, the rise in Covid cases did not affect Spider-Man’s box office this weekend, although it remains to be seen how it could impact future weekends. And beyond Spider-Man, the news for the wider theatrical landscape was not great. Nightmare Alley, the latest film from Guillermo del Toro, made only $3 million in its opening weekend. The movie cost some $60 million to make, and stars A-listers like Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett. So when there’s an epic Spider-Man movie, people will still go out to the theater. But those only come along once every few years, if that.

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