Spider-Man Beats Scream At The Box Office, Which Is Impressive And Sobering

It was an interesting weekend at the box office as "Spider-Man: No Way Home" pulled off an incredibly rare feat. After losing to "Scream" last weekend, it then reclaimed the top spot once again in its sixth week, a very rare feat that demonstrates just how much of a must-see, pop culture phenomenon this movie has become. At the same time, it is a sobering demonstration of the reality that almost any other big, desirable movie will face in the post-pandemic future, or at least for the foreseeable future. Let's dig in, shall we?

Spider-Man Swings Back to the Top Spot

Did you guys know people like superhero movies? Well it turns out that is most certainly the case as, in its sixth (yes, sixth) weekend of release, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" took the top spot at the box office with an estimated $14.1 million haul according to Box Office Mojo. That means it has topped the charts in five out of its six weekends of release, only taking a backseat in week number five just to circle back to the top position once again. An absolutely impressive feat that speaks to this movie's staying power.

Its global total now stands at $1.69 billion globally, good enough for the number six highest-grossing movie of all time. It now sits behind "Avengers: Infinity War" which earned a cool $2 billion during its theatrical run in 2018. It's not overly likely that director Jon Watts' MCU flick will get past that mark to make it into the top five. That being said, at this point, I wouldn't count it out. The fact of the matter is this is a true outlier in the pandemic era and the kind of movie that will only come around very rarely. It's amazing that this is even possible but, as the rest of the weekend's chart will tell you, this is a major exception and the rule is far harsher.

Scream Falls to Number 2 and Cements a Harsh Reality

In its second frame, "Scream" (the fifth entry in the horror series) took in $12.4 million, good enough for the number two spot, representing a 58.7% drop from its first weekend. That is not altogether uncommon, in terms of a week-to-week plunge, especially when looking at what has happened to most big movies during the Covid era. Quite simply, movies have one weekend to shoot their shot. From there, it's tough to say if moviegoers are going to keep the dollars flowing for weeks to come. In most cases, they won't.

This isn't necessarily anything new, but the gaps have been more extreme over the last year since Hollywood started releasing movies again. "Scream" was well-reviewed, was attached to a very popular franchise, took the proven "legacy sequel" route and did very well (relative to its $24 million budget) out of the gate. Its big dip is par for the course and, were it not for Spider-Man, it probably would have enjoyed a relatively modest second-week win. The realities are what they are though and this is something studios are going to have to contend with, even when it comes to franchise films.

On the plus side, the movie now stands at $84.9 million worldwide and was the first 2022 release to pass $50 million domestic. It should pass the total haul of 2011's "Scream 4" ($95 million) within a week. If it can make another $13 million or so, it will push the franchise past the $700 million mark overall globally, which would be a big deal and all but ensure "Scream 6" will get a green light sooner rather than later.

And the Rest...

It was pretty rough sledding for just about everything else this week. To that end, the other eight entries in the top 10 earned just over $16 million combined — or just a couple million more than "Spider-Man" made on its own in its sixth week. Yes, that's where we're at right now. January is historically pretty rough for movies and the box office but this is a particularly rough month.

"Sing 2" came in at number three with $5.7 million, with its global total at $241 million. It is looking like the film might struggle to get to $300 million, which wouldn't even behalf of what the original made. Again, grading on the Covid curve (and considering the movie is making money on premium VOD right now as well) it's probably considered a win for Universal.

Of the weekend's two "big" new releases, "Redeeming Love" did better, coming in at number four with $3.7 million. This is also a Universal release and it's not doing them any major favors as it's probably not going to make enough in the coming weeks to make any sort of real impact. The weekend's other new release, however, etched its way into the history books as "The King's Daughter," which stars Pierce Brosnan and was originally supposed to debut in 2015, debuted on more than 2,000 screens and earned just $750 thousand. That makes it one of the least successful wide-release films in history. Ouch.

"The King's Man" rounded out the top five, taking in $1.7 million, with its total now standing at $105 million worldwide. It's a flop at this point and there is no way around it. Disney knows that, which is why it will be hitting Hulu very soon. This does not bode well for "Kingsman 3," unless it gets made with streaming in mind.

There are no notable wide-release movies hitting screens this week, which means "Scream" and "Spider-Man" will be duking it out yet again in what figures to be a quiet, possibly depressing weekend at the box office.