Throughout this pandemic recovery era, a number of tentpoles have returned to movie theaters. The biggest of 2021 has been saved for last, though, with Spider-Man: No Way Home set to make its highly anticipated domestic debut exclusively in cinemas on December 17.
Following the detailed outlook below, our public forecasts now also include Nightmare Alley (opening the same weekend), as well as December 10’s West Side Story and National Champions.
Barring any significant developments beforehand, our next public update on all of these forecasts will be reported on December 3.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Sony & Columbia Pictures / Marvel Studios
December 17, 2021 (North America)
- As an exclusive theatrical release with a full compliment of IMAX and other Premium Large Format screens at its disposal, No Way Home is primed as the event release of the holiday season — and arguably the most prolific since December 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
- Following the record-shattering box office performance of Avengers: Endgame in early 2019, the first character to lead the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s fans into the next era was Peter Parker/Spider-Man in that summer’s Far From Home sequel, picking up immediately after the events of the Infinity Saga’s conclusion. Home‘s own ending left a major cliffhanger dangling that is driving anticipation for Spidey’s next installment.
- In addition, the MCU has since firmly introduced the concept of the multiverse across multiple films and streaming series — setting the stage for what is undoubtedly be a major plot point for numerous upcoming Marvel stories, especially No Way Home, in the post-Endgame era.
- Home‘s first teaser trailer was enormously well received, generating 355.5 million global views in its first 24 hours of release, according to distributor Sony. The studio also reports that it broke Endgame‘s own record of 289 million during the comparable time frame, while doubling Far From Home‘s 135 million views.
- At the time, the teaser trailer also generated more than 4.5 million mentions in its first full day, per Sony. Since then, social media chatter has only continued to build momentum with intense speculation about the multiverse as well as confirmed and potential crossover characters expected to appear in No Way Home.
- Our internal models indicate the film’s sentiment rankings and overall mention volume are trending ahead of all releases since The Rise of Skywalker and Endgame.
- The promise of confirmed villains from past Spider-Man films that weren’t set within the MCU has electrified fan anticipation. The return of fan favorites, as well as the MCU’s own Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in a seemingly significant role, is only intensifying interest among die-hards and casual viewers alike.
- Market-wise, No Way Home enters a landscape that will have been without a true tentpole release in close to a month (Sony’s own Ghostbusters: Afterlife on November 19).
- As pandemic factors go, COVID-19 vaccines for children aged between 5 and 12 have been approved and are steadily rolling out. Health officials estimate more than 2 million children could be fully vaccinated by Christmastime, when this film will still be in the middle of its stride over the long holiday corridor during the second half of December.
That’s an important part of the Spider-Man brand’s four-quadrant audience as the foundation of the franchise, in its many versions, driving consistently strong blockbuster runs over the past two decades.
- In addition to family audience strength, Spidey films are traditionally young-skewing within the comic book movie realm — something that proved to help Venom: Let There Be Carnage wildly exceed expectations in October. For example, Far From Home drew an audience 58 percent under the age of 25 (and 60 percent male) versus Endgame‘s 39 percent under-25 and 57 percent male split. The aforementioned Venom sequel drew 55 percent under 25 and 62 percent male.
- While December used to be known more for longer box office runs and never for nine-digit opening weekend figures, the Star Wars franchise turned that narrative around with all four of its December releases between 2015 and 2019, each opening between $155 million (Rogue One) and $248 million (The Force Awakens).
- For most of 2021, this film has been the top candidate viewed as a potential event release that could bring back a large portion of the pre-pandemic moviegoing audience, including those who haven’t returned to cinemas prior to its release. As such, forecasting models are incredibly volatile due to the continued challenging of measuring interest versus actual intent to purchase tickets (which do not go on sale until November 29).
- While not likely to dampen enthusiasm, star Tom Holland’s recent implications about the film’s tone are at least worth considering with regard to staying power and audience reception. The Marvel brand typically knows how to deliver a crowd-pleaser even with challenging and mature themes in play, but this is an element worth keeping in mind when projecting long-term box office prowess.
- It remains to be seen how much of the family audience is willing to return to cinemas heading into winter as kids between the age of 5 and 12 have only just begun receiving vaccinations.
Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2021 Calendar
(as of 11/19/21)
|Release Date||Title||3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range||Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week||Domestic Total Low/High Range||Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week||Estimated Location Count||Distributor|
|11/24/2021||Encanto||$20,000,000 – $35,000,000||$75,000,000 – $135,000,000||3,800||Walt Disney Pictures|
|11/24/2021||For the Love of Money||600||Freestyle Releasing|
|11/24/2021||House of Gucci||$8,000,000 – $13,000,000||+15%||$30,000,000 – $65,000,000||+15%||3,400||MGM / United Artists Releasing|
|11/24/2021||Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City||$6,000,000 – $10,000,000||-11%||$17,000,000 – $30,000,000||-11%||2,600||Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures|
|12/10/2021||Don’t Look Up||Netflix|
|12/10/2021||National Champions||$5,000,000 – $10,000,000||$17,000,000 – $42,000,000||STXfilms|
|12/10/2021||West Side Story (2020)||$14,000,000 – $22,000,000||$55,000,000 – $85,000,000||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|12/17/2021||Nightmare Alley||$3,000,000 – $7,000,000||$10,000,000 – $22,000,000||Disney / Searchlight Pictures|
|12/17/2021||Spider-Man: No Way Home||$135,000,000 – $185,000,000||$375,000,000 – $525,000,000||Sony / Columbia / Marvel Studios|
|12/22/2021||The King’s Man||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|12/22/2021||The Matrix Resurrections||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|12/22/2021||Sing 2||Universal Pictures|
|12/25/2021||A Journal for Jordan||Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures|
|12/25/2021||American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story||Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company|
|12/31/2021||(no releases scheduled)|
All above figures represent best and worst case scenarios for how each respective film is currently tracking based on existing market conditions and projected model fluctuation before release. These are not final forecasts.
Pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections are available exclusively to Boxoffice PRO clients. For more information on forecasts, pricing, and availability, please contact us.