“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is already in the select company of movie franchise record-setters.
The Sony and Marvel Studios film tallied $50 million in ticket sales from Thursday previews. That’s a pandemic-era best — but also the third highest in cinematic history behind “Avengers: Endgame” ($60 million) and “Stars Wars: The Force Awakens” ($57 million).
“This is a monumental debut,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
Cinemark said it had its biggest U.S. box office opening night for “No Way Home” and AMC said it was the second-highest grossing movie title on its opening night of all-time, just behind “Endgame.”
Shares of Cinemark jumped 3% on Friday, while AMC skyrocketed around 21%.
Ticket seller Fandango said it set the record for top ticket seller of the year in addition to being the hottest flick for Thursday previews since “Avengers: Endgame.”
Box office analysts added “No Way Home” would easily surpass $100 million at the domestically during its opening weekend, and began reconsidering how high Spider-Man can swing after the preview results.
Sony initially projected a weekend haul of $130 million, but now analysts are boosting that estimate closer to $200 million, on positive word of mouth leading to packed cinemas this weekend as well as repeat viewings.
Critics have favorably reviewed Tom Holland’s third Spider-Man film, calling it a “celebration of Spidey fandom.”
“Everyone who thought the movie theater wouldn’t return … just didn’t understand the power of a movie and a character like Spider-Man to bring passionate movie fans to the multiplex,” Dergarabedian said.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Fandango.