Weekend Box Office Forecast (Final Update): Spider-Man: No Way Home Goes for Sixth #1 Finish, Will Surpass Black Panther‘s Comic Book Movie Record

Photo Credits: Sony / Columbia & Marvel Studios ("Spider-Man: No Way Home"); Paramount ("Scream")

Thursday Update: Final theater counts for this week’s key releases are now included with prior forecasts in the table below.

Wednesday Report: The industry’s long trudge through January approaches its final hurdle this weekend as — yet again — no major releases will hit theaters, leaving the door wide open for Spider-Man: No Way Home to set another record.

Since bowing before Christmas, the Marvel Cinematic Universe phenom has soared beyond even the most optimistic of expectations throughout its domestic and international run. On the home front, the pic reclaimed first place last weekend after a brief interlude for the debut of Scream over MLK weekend. It was Spidey’s fifth turn atop the box office, which tied it with Black Panther for the most in history by any comic book adaptation or superhero film.

Various market relevancies make it an apples-and-oranges comparison to many of history’s biggest films, but said record will easily fall this weekend as No Way Home is on a competition-less trajectory for a sixth weekend crown. That would mark the most of any movie since Avatar‘s seven king-of-the-hill finishes, the only other film to achieve as many weekend box office championships since before the turn of the 21st century.

As an aside, No Way Home will also set a new pandemic-era record with a sixth appearance in first place. The MCU crossover is currently tied with the asterisk-heavy run of Tenet, which enjoyed five first place finishes in late 2020. They’re followed by The Croods: A New Age‘s four victory laps later that holiday season as major market theaters remained shuttered, vaccines were yet to be publicly available, and new theatrical releases were hard to find.

Speaking of Avatar, its lifetime domestic gross is still in the conversation for the Spider-Man epic. Through Tuesday, January 25, No Way Home stood at $723 million through 40 days of release, remaining the fourth highest earner in North American history (not accounting for inflation, of course). The 2009 James Cameron film owns a $760.5 million lifetime mark ($749.8 million from its original run), ranking as the third best in history behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($936.7 million) and Avengers: Endgame ($858.4 million).

Those latter two benchmarks are out of reach for No Way Home (sans any future re-releases), but Avatar is squarely within sight. We’re projecting the film will need just another estimated $24.5 million after this weekend to surpass Cameron’s movie. Although Spidey will face fresh rounds of competition beginning in February, including a loss of IMAX screens, such a feat remains plausible — but challenging — given the movie’s incredible staying power thus far.

On the holdover front, a lack of new entries means theaters will again lean on the carryover marketplace. Scream should easily remain in second place for its third frame as it, too, holds onto a PLF footprint. Sing 2 remains a strong family option and doesn’t have anything close enough behind it to challenge for the number three position.

In general, this weekend’s holdovers should see relatively soft drops across the board. NFL playoffs will again be a factor on Sunday with conference championships taking place throughout the afternoon and evening.

Next week, February is tracking to regain some momentum with Paramount’s Jackass Forever courting the reliable male audience that’s been near the center of theatrical recovery during the pandemic. Lionsgate’s Moonfall will similarly lean toward men and action fans with an IMAX release, although its most recent forecasts are more conservative than the Johnny Knoxville-led comedy.

Wide Release Forecast Ranges

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Weekend Forecast & Location Counts

Boxoffice projects between a 25 to 30 percent decline for this weekend’s top ten films from last weekend’s $42.2 million top ten aggregate. 

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, January 30 Location Count 3-Day % Change from Last Wknd
Spider-Man: No Way Home Sony Pictures / Columbia & Marvel Studios $11,000,000 $736,000,000 3,675 -21%
Scream (2022) Paramount Pictures $7,500,000 $62,500,000 3,518 -39%
Sing 2 Universal Pictures $4,600,000 $134,300,000 3,443 -20%
Redeeming Love Universal Pictures $1,600,000 $6,200,000 1,963 -55%
The King’s Man Disney / 20th Century Studios $1,500,000 $33,800,000 2,440 -16%
The 355 Universal Pictures $1,200,000 $12,900,000 2,511 -25%
American Underdog Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company $1,000,000 $24,600,000 2,113 -15%
West Side Story (2021) Disney / 20th Century Studios $600,000 $36,000,000 1,335 -16%
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Sony Pictures / Columbia $575,000 $127,900,000 1,170 -12%
Licorice Pizza United Artists Releasing $550,000 $11,700,000 786 -17%
Nightmare Alley Searchlight Pictures     1,103  
The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert (IMAX) Disney     67 (Sunday Only)  

All forecasts are subject to revision before the first confirmation of Thursday previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.

Theater counts are updated as confirmed by studiosThe above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.

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