‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ is a box office hit, but theaters still face Omicron

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The movie theaters were animated last weekend when “Spider-Man: No Way Home” yielded resounding results, but it’s too early to call it a comeback.

Catch up quickly: Disney’s Marvel movie kicked off the second biggest weekend on record for a new film in North America, grossing around $ 260 million in ticket sales, according to Comscore.

Why is this important: Movie theaters are in desperate need of customers since the pandemic blew up their business and allowed studios to bypass the big screen for streaming services. Spider-Man’s performance would have been a cause for celebration, even in pre-pandemic times – but the omicron variant could still spoil the plot of the return to cinema.

  • “Omicron is the big unknown here,” Tuna Amobi, media and entertainment analyst at CFRA Research, told Axios. “How much of this reduces some of the gains we’ve seen remains unclear.”

With Spider-Man’s ticket sales, the domestic box office is expected to exceed $ 4 billion this week, nearly doubling the performance of the year 2020, according to Box Office Mojo.

  • Yes, but: We are a long way from the $ 11.3 billion in 2019.

Our thought bubble: With all due respect to Peter Parker, we need to see more before we can declare Spider-Man’s performance more than a one-off success. The disappointing projections of recent non-superhero films – and the less than pre-pandemic performances of other superhero films like “Black Widow” and “Shang-Chi” – don’t inspire confidence.

Develop the graph

Data: BoxOfficeMojo; Graphic: Kavya Beheraj / Axios

Inventory: Shares of AMC and Cinemark surged on Friday after initially promising box office reports and rose further on Monday despite the stock market’s massive sell-off.

  • AMC shares have been faltering since becoming a favorite for even stock traders on social media earlier this year. So it’s hard to say if the movement of the action reflects cinematic trends.

Go back: AMC narrowly escaped bankruptcy in 2020 after significant cost cuts and a series of financial maneuvers, including repeated fundraisers, helped the company weather pandemic shutdowns. But others were not so lucky, such as Alamo Drafthouse, which filed for bankruptcy (Chapter 11).

The bottom line: Expect the turmoil to continue. But “what is quite clear is that there is a significant amount of pent-up demand waiting to be released,” Amobi said.

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