No Way Home Box Office Has Cemented Spider-Man As A Cultural Phenomenon For The Ages

In many ways, it was a pretty uneventful weekend at the box office. No big new releases were there to take any spotlight away from "Spider-Man: No Way Home" or "Scream," paving the way for a similar batch of movies to fill out the top 10. That having been said, the winter storm that pounded parts of the country and shut down movie theaters in several states changed the narrative a bit and, despite that, the latest entry in the "Spider-Man" franchise topped the charts for its six weekends out of the seven it has been in theaters, cementing not just the movie, but the character itself in a new place within the pop culture hierarchy. Let's dig in.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Is More Than a Movie

Still playing in nearly 3,700 theaters across the country, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" dropped a mere 21.5% percent in its seventh weekend to take the top spot with $11 million according to Box Office Mojo. Its total now stands at an eye-melting $1.73 billion worldwide. What's more, it has become one of very few films to ever cross $1 billion purely overseas. Meanwhile, domestically, it is a little more than $24 million away from passing "Avatar" ($760 million) to make its way into the top three. That's pretty damn good for a kid from Brooklyn who got bit by a radioactive spider when he was a teenager. Well, three kids who got bit by spiders, but I digress.

Yes, there has been very little competition to get in the way of this movie's success, with "Scream" swooping in to top the charts for a single weekend. Yes, it is connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which no doubt helped to get a lot of meat in seats in the early going. But, at this point, especially when considering just how shockingly well this movie has managed to do during a raging pandemic, it's more than the next cog in the Marvel machine. Spider-Man, as a character and as a franchise, has ascended the ranks in the pop culture landscape to become arguably the superhero on a global scale.

"Spider-Man" has endured through three different eras on the big screen, with Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland all playing the part in their own way. There are different generations of fans now who all have their Spidey, and this movie arriving with the promise of reuniting those various incarnations proved to be a bigger deal than any of us anticipated. This ended up having the same level of attraction as bringing back "Star Wars" with "The Force Awakens." Yes, "Spider-Man" is on that level now and there is no denying it. Not even Batman could claim that level of love worldwide (though a "Bat-Verse" movie would maybe get close). It's Peter Parker's world, we're just living in it.

Scream Continues to Carve Up Good Business

Despite the fact that the new "Scream" movie has been somewhat overshadowed in the past couple of weeks by a certain superhero flick, that doesn't take anything away from the fact that it has absolutely managed to reinvigorate the franchise. In its third frame, the Paramount Pictures release managed to take in a healthy $7.3 million, putting its domestic total at $62.1 million. Overseas audiences have started to turn up as well, with its international total now standing at $44.1 million. The great news is that puts its grand total at $106 million worldwide. If it didn't make another dime, this would already be quite the success story.

For one, it has already managed to top 2011's "Scream 4" ($97 million). Plus, it only carries a budget said to be in the $25 million range, which means it has made more than four times that amount in ticket sales. Depending on how things shake out in the coming weeks, we could be looking at a $150 million run, which would all but guarantee "Scream 6" will get the green light sooner rather than later. Horror continues to be the backbone of the movie business, that much is clear.

Awards Season Favorites Stay In the Game

Jumping outside of the top 10 for a moment, we've got some movies that made themselves relevant again for various reasons. For starters, Ridley Scott's "House of Gucci" finally managed to cross $150 million worldwide, with its total standing at $151.2 million. Given that it carries a budget of around $75 million, that means it has at least doubled that number which could save it from being a disaster, especially with the Oscar nominations right around the corner. Depending on how well it does on premium VOD and Blu-ray, it could well get into the green for United Artists/MGM over time. Still, this one feels like it might have been a bigger hit in pre-pandemic times.

Meanwhile, Guillermo del Toro's "Nightmare Alley" attempted to drum up some additional business with a black and white version that rolled into theaters across the country over the weekend. It only earned $534,000, with its global total now just above $15 million. That is a brutal result but it's nice that 20th Century Studios/Disney is at least trying to keep it part of the conversation before it makes its streaming debut. Considering that del Toro made a critically embraced film with a stacked cast as his follow-up to the Best Picture winner "The Shape of Water," this remains a gigantic bummer. One can only hope it find an audience in the years to come.

And the Rest...

"Sing 2" continued its streak of working well for the family crowd, taking the number three spot with $4.8 million. It now stands at $267 million worldwide and will very likely get at or near $300 million. That is a little less than half of what its predecessor earned but, considering the five-year gap and the pandemic, Universal should probably be able to chalk this one up as a win. Especially if it's also doing well on VOD, as it's been available for viewers at home for several weeks now as well.

Also on the Universal Pictures front, the romance flick "Redeeming Love" stayed at the number four spot in weekend two with $1.8 million. More than anything, that illustrates just how much bottom feeding is going on outside of the top three spots right now. It's pretty abysmal overall. Until we get to a point where the other movies that don't top the box office can also make some decent change, the recovery for the industry will remain uneven and cover the future in a could of uncertainty. To that end, "The King's Man" rounded out the top five with $1.75 million just ahead of its streaming debut on Hulu.

This weekend finally brings a pair of new releases that moviegoers will care about in the form of "Jackass Forever" and "Moonfall." They are wildly different films and will surely attract different crowds, which should make things interesting and kick off February with promise.