In huge N. America opening, ‘Spider-Man’ rakes in $253 million

LOS ANGELES: Covid-schmovid: Sony and Marvel’s new “Spider-Man: No Way Home” scored a massive North American opening this weekend, taking in an estimated $253 million, making it the third-biggest domestic opening of all time.

The film’s opening trails only 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” ($357 million) and the previous year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” ($258 million), according to the BoxOfficeMojo website. It easily surpassed early estimates of $130-150 million.

The new superhero blockbuster is well on its way to $600 million overseas, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday. And this is as theaters continue to battle their way back from months-long Covid-induced closures.

“This is an incredible opening,” David A. Gross, who runs Franchise Entertainment Research, told Variety.

While most big series struggle to keep their momentum, he added, “‘Spider-Man’ is exploding.”

By way of comparison, last weekend’s top film, Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated remake of “West Side Story,” opened to just $10.5 million.

“No Way Home” is British star Tom Holland’s third solo outing in the wildly popular role; in supporting roles this time are Benedict Cumberbatch, Zendaya and Jacob Batalon.

The original “Spider-Man” film starring Tobey Maguire in 2002 was the first movie in cinematic history to gross more than $100 million on its debut weekend.

This weekend’s other top films were thus relegated to the distant sidelines.

Disney’s “Encanto,” an animated fantasy with music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, placed second for the Friday-through-Sunday period, at $6.3 million.

20th Century’s “West Side Story,” with Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler playing star-crossed lovers in the mean streets of New York, slipped to third spot, at just $3.4 million.

In fourth was Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” the latest chapter in that supernatural franchise, also at $3.4 million.

And in fifth was Searchlight’s new crime thriller “Nightmare Alley.” Despite strong reviews, the Guillermo del Toro film took in only $3 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were: “House of Gucci” ($1.9 million), “Eternals” ($1.2 million), “Clifford the Big Red Dog” ($400,000), “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” ($280,000) and “Dune” ($240,000).

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