“Spider-Man: No Way Home” grossed $50 million in preview screenings in the United States and Canada on Thursday, the third-highest sum for preview showings ahead of what is likely to be a record-breaking weekend for cinemas that have fought to stay afloat during the epidemic.
The launch day sales established a new COVID-19 era record. According to box office observers, total domestic earnings for “No Way Home” might reach as high as $240 million during the weekend, placing it among the top five film debuts of all time.
Tom Holland appears as the web-slinging superhero and Zendaya as his love, MJ, in the big-budget superhero film co-produced by Sony Corp (6758.T) and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N). The film is being shown only in cinemas.
The film’s early success was good news for theater chains such as AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC.N), Cinemark (CNK.N), and Cineworld’s Regal network. Cinemark said that “No Way Home” had the most opening night sales of any film in company history.
AMC’s stock, dubbed a meme stock by retail investors, surged 23.5 percent to $30.19 during Friday’s lively trading session. Cinemark’s stock increased 2.9 percent to $16.63.
The box office results indicate that the film is attracting many new viewers during the pandemic, despite the spread of the new Omicron variety, according to Shawn Robbins, the principal analyst at BoxOfficePro.com.
“This is also an example of having the appropriate material at the right time since the Christmas season is just getting started,” he said.
Robbins projected that “No Way Home” would gross between $190 million and $240 million in US cinemas this weekend.
The pandemic’s largest opening to date was the superhero feature “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” which grossed $90 million in its first three days in October.
Film reviewers lauded “No Way Home.” As of Friday, 95 percent of 220 reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website were favorable.