SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME continued in its lonely and heroic quest to power the holiday box office, easily maintaining its top spot over New Year’s weekend with a gross of $52.7M, a drop of only 38% from last weekend’s result. SING 2 finished in second with a total of $19.6M down 12% from last weekend and THE KING’S MAN finished third with a modest $4.5M. Below the top three, THE MATRIX RESSURECTIONS, AMERICAN UNDERDOG, A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN, , LICORICE PIZZA and NIGHTMARE ALLEY could only manage $11M in ticket sales, speaking volumes about the lack of support coming from the next tier of new releases.
All pictures in theatres produced $96M in the total box office this weekend, which is 69% of the gross turned in by the opening weekend of 2019. These so-so results were due to a lack of impact from any new release compounded by the fact that Friday was New Year’s Eve – typically a slow night at the movies. This poor start to the New Year is a disappointment, considering SPIDER-MAN’s rocketing two-week run that preceded it. As of today, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME has already earned $610M, making it 10TH on the list of highest-grossing films of all time. One shudders to think how this Christmas would have fared if Sony had opted to push SPIDER-MAN back into 2022.
As we begin 2022, we will continue to compare current year grosses to results from the same period in 2019, the last full year prior to the pandemic. We feel that this comparison provides the best way to measure the exhibition’s progress on the road to recovery. Even though the industry is gaining strength every quarter, we cannot ignore the fact that the first quarter of 2021 produced only 11% of the result seen in Q1 2019 and that the first two quarters of 2021 were only 19% of the same period in 2019. In fact, most of last year’s recovery took place in the second half of the year. We feel that it would be misleading to measure the strength of current results by comparing them to those from one year ago when less than half of the theatres were operating, and the rollout of vaccines was still on the horizon.