After two months conquering the box office, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios’ “Spider-Man: No Way Home” now stands as the third-highest grossing film in American box office history, passing the $760.5 million run of James Cameron’s “Avatar.”
Though the two films came out 12 years apart and under dramatically different circumstances for movie theaters, both were able to take advantage of a lack of competition and overwhelmingly strong word-of-mouth to bring moviegoers back again and again for repeat viewings.
While “Avatar” started with a modest opening and then continued to reign as No. 1 at the box office for seven straight weekends, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” exploded to a $260 million opening weekend this past December — second only to “Avengers: Endgame” in the record books — and dominated the holiday season as younger moviegoers came out to see “Spider-Man” eras collide despite the COVID-19 Omicron variant surge.
Though “No Way Home” didn’t match “Avatar” in the No. 1 weekend count with just five weekends atop the box office, it is only one of two films since “Avatar” came out to earn that many, the other being fellow Marvel film “Black Panther” in 2018.
Internationally, “No Way Home” has also grossed $1 billion despite not having a release in China, giving it a worldwide total of just over $1.8 billion. It is still unclear if the film will ever get a release in China, where the government is heavily curtailing the number of American films released to put emphasis on local fare. If it does, it would have a chance to become the sixth film in history to pass the $2 billion mark, though pirated versions of the film have circulated through the country since its release elsewhere.