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The Fans Have Spoken! Spider-Man: No Way Home drops a massive 68% in its second weekend!

I kid. I kid. I do hope the reference is understood, and it would've been more timely if I wrote that earlier this week, but I was preoccupied earlier in the week and was feeling like shit Wednesday and yesterday (booster side effects), hence the lack of updates.

So, NWH did indeed have a pretty steep 67.5% drop in its second weekend. Much of that was from Friday, which is understandable as Christmas Eve is typically a pretty rough day for theaters. Christmas Day and Boxing Day, though... well, they just weren't as pronounced relative to what things were in the days prior to Christmas Eve. There's no way to be sure why, but other December releases didn't see Christmas Day and the day after be this low in relative terms. It was still a very good showing in absolute terms as it was the third-largest Christmas Day gross ever (behind only The Force Awakens and Rise of Skywalker), but it possibly, but not certainly, could have been better. Maybe there was just something about this particular Christmas weekend, and COVID might not necessarily be the answer because of what happened after this past weekend.

While a big deal is made about weekend grosses, focusing solely on them misses the bigger picture, as there's four other days in the week besides the Fri.-Sun. period, and NWH made up for its relatively steep weekend drop with a very strong showing during the weekdays. While box office figures for this past week are still just estimates at this point (Mon.-Thu. officially labelled as such, last weekend still showing rounded figures), estimated indicated that during the Mon.-Thu. period alone it grossed over $86M, the second-largest second Mon.-Thu. gross ever (behind only TFA, and over double what even Endgame did its second Mon.-Thu. period), which brought the film to over $170M total in its second week. If the final figures aren't much less than that, it would potentially make it the third-largest second week ever in inflation-adjusted terms (assuming ticket prices haven't grown substantially since 2019; see below). It also passed the $500M mark on Tuesday, making it the third-fastest movie to reach that point at only 12 days, surpassed only by The Force Awakens (10 days) and Endgame (8 days).

Because of the strong performance during the week, it's possible that COVID might not be factoring into audience's decisions to go see this film, since if it was it we would likely have seen a drop during the week harsher than ~31% drop that was estimated for the Mon.-Thu. period, which was a much softer second weekday period drop than any December release except The Force Awakens (the leggiest major blockbuster of the century). These are really good legs so far despite the spike from omicron. Then again, COVID could have been a factor and the movie might be having an even slower decline under disease-free circumstances.

While the Mon.-Thu. figures of Week 2 doing that well relative to the second weekend is unusual for a Marvel film, it is not too dissimilar from what recent Star Wars films did. Since those were all released in roughly the same time frame (Christmas was between their 6th to 11th day in theaters; it was on NWH's 9th day), this shows that this is a result of Christmas and the last days of December boosting mid-December releases higher than what they would have done during in their second week had they released in some other month. If NWH was, say, a summer release and still debuted as strongly as it did, it may have had a better second weekend, but the weekdays of Week 2 would likely have been weaker.

Of course, next week comes the big post New Year's drop. While this weekend should still be a good one, we should expect much larger week-over-week drops come Monday. Depending on how much it drops, it should still have enough momentum to keep it ahead of other MCU films of similar performance.

In the charts in the OP, I have added Black Panther as an additional point of comparison for the daily grosses.

Also, I will add a chart soon after I post this reply that will show NWH's weekly grosses compared to other major blockbusters of the past 20 years. That chart will be inflation-adjusted given that some of the films in the chart are old enough for ticket price inflation to make a significant difference, but that comes with a caveat. NATO hasn't updated their site to show average ticket prices for 2020 or 2021, with the 2019 average of $9.16 being the most recent figure. Meanwhile, the MPA does publish annual figures on both total grosses for all films and total admissions. However, those figures are extremely rounded, with annual grosses rounded to the nearest $100M and admissions rounded to the nearest 10M, which results in a substantial margin of error. Box Office Mojo states an average ticket price in 2020 of $9.37. This was the final quarterly average ticket price, specifically for Q4 2019, given by NATO before they stopped giving updates. Based on their figure for the total box office gross for the calendar year of 2020, this would yield total admissions of about 224.4M, a significant (~9.4%) discrepancy from the 240M figure given by the MPA. Using the MPA's 240M estimate as the middle point of a range from 235.5M to 244.9M would yield an average ticket price ranging from $8.61 to $8.93, which if true would indicate a decline in average ticket prices in 2020. However, with theaters closed for most of that year and with NATO not giving any updates, we can't be sure what the actual figure is.

Due to conflicting data and there being no "official" figure for average ticket prices past 2019 from either of the big movie trade associations, I'm going to assume ticket prices have remained totally flat since 2019, and therefore will not adjust what I have for the older films on the chart. If and when we get some more official ticket prices I will adjust accordingly. I may make an alternate chart showing grosses adjusted to BOM's $9.37 figure as the most recent ticket price.

I will update the charts with the final non-estimate figures for Spider-Man once they become available, which may be a while (I'm thinking not until after the weekend once we're past the holidays).

Also, Happy New Year!

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 15 January 2022

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In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").