“Spider-Man: No Way Home” will keep trouncing its competition at the domestic box office well into the new year.
Though the first major release of 2022, Universal’s star-studded thriller “The 355,” is opening nationwide, Spidey will have no trouble staying atop the charts in its fourth weekend of release.
More from Variety
Over the weekend, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is expected to add another $25 million to $27 million to its domestic tally. To date, the Sony Pictures movie has generated $627 million in North America, pushing past “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” ($620 million) and “The Avengers” ($623 million) become the eighth-highest grossing film ever at the domestic box office. At this rate, the Marvel web-slinging epic is poised to soon take down spots six and seven, “Titanic” ($659 million) and “Jurassic World” ($652 million). If it’s able to dethrone the No. 5 slot, which belongs to “Avengers: Infinity War” with $678 million, it’ll be a testament to “Spider-Man: No Way Home’s” impressive staying power. Globally, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has amassed a staggering $1.37 billion, recently eclipsing 2018’s “Black Panther” ($1.34 billion) to cement its place as the 12th biggest film in history.
It’s been comforting, at least for traditional studios and film operators, for a COVID-era blockbuster to cement all-time box office records. But that doesn’t mean just any movie will be able to deliver the kind of ticket sales it would have been expected to make in pre-pandemic times.
In other words, new releases like “The 355” may still face a bleak fate. The spy movie, starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing, is projected to make a paltry $5 million to $7 million from 3,000 North American theaters. With two days until “The 355” is gearing to hit the big screen, the studio has kept reviews under embargo, which usually isn’t a strong endorsement. The movie will be available on the streaming service Peacock 45 days after its theatrical release, which could help mitigate potential box office losses.
Directed by Simon Kinberg (“Dark Phoenix”), the $40 million-budgeted globe-trotting espionage story follows a group of international spies who team up to stop a potentially world-altering event. Together, the five women form a faction called 355 — a nod to the assembly of female spies that united during the American Revolution. The cast also includes Edgar Ramirez and Sebastian Stan. Universal Pictures paid $20 million for domestic rights to “The 355” following its introduction at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.
Should estimates hold, “The 355” will land behind another Universal film, the Illumination animated musical comedy “Sing 2,” on box office charts. The jukebox sequel, led by the voice cast of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and other big names, looks to add $10 million to $12 million in its third weekend in theaters. The kid friendly “Sing 2” has made $92 million in North America since Christmas.
COVID or not, January is slow time at the movies — and 2022 is no exception. The first month of the year is relatively light on new releases, other than Paramount’s slasher sequel “Scream” on Jan. 14. Until Tom Holland’s “Uncharted” and Kenneth Branagh’s whodunit “Death on the Nile” debut in February, it’ll be all Spider-Man all the time.