‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Makes Mighty Debut Atop U.K. Box Office as Omicron Looms

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Punters desperate to get their fix of web-slinging Christmas cheer in before the Omicron disrupts festivities flocked to “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in their thousands across the U.K. and Ireland.

The Sony release collected a mighty £31.9 million ($42.2 million) over an extended five-day weekend, according to numbers released by Comscore.

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Holdover “Clifford The Big Red Dog,” released by eOne, clung on to its second position with £766,122 and now has £2.3 million after two weekends.

Disney release “West Side Story,” last week’s topper by a slim margin, claimed third position with £587,305 and now has a total of £2.9 million after its second weekend at the turnstiles. Fellow Disney release “Encanto” collected £360,891 in fourth position and has collected £4.7 million after four weekends.

Rounding off the top five was Universal’s “House of Gucci” with £289,041 and has a total of £8 million after four weekends.

New entrants in the top 10 chart included Indian blockbuster “Pushpa: The Rise – Part 1,” from Sun Media, starring Allu Arjun and Fahadh Faasil, which bowed in seventh position with £121,892; and Trafalgar Releasing’s “Bolshoi 2021 : The Nutcracker,” which debuted in tenth place with £85,417.

The biggest release of the upcoming weekend is Warner Bros.’ “The Matrix Resurrections,” the fourth part of the saga starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss. There will also be takers aplenty for cricket-themed “’83,” starring Ranveer Singh, which producer and distributor Reliance Entertainment held back for 18 months in order to ride out the pandemic.

Kinostar is releasing Turkish drama “Dayi: Bir Adamin Hikayesi,” while Bohemia is bowing 2021 Berlin selection “Bliss.”

Boxing Day sees the release of another potential blockbuster, Disney release “The King’s Man,” a prequel to the popular Kingsman films. Those who are in search of highbrow fare have Julia Ducournau’s Cannes winner and Oscar contender “Titane” and Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, both of which are also opening on that day.

However, it remains to be seen if cinemas in the territory remain open as Omicron surges. Ireland has already declared an 8pm curfew for food and beverage outlets, while the U.K. is expected to introduce a fire breaker lockdown post Christmas.

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