Spider-Man: No Way Home has become Sony’s highest-grossing release ever at the domestic box office in little over a week, registering a significant victory for its studio, Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the theatrical industry in general.
The list of records toppled by Tom Holland’s latest stint under the spandex has made for heartening reading, but the web-slinging superhero can’t be relied on to drag business back from the doldrums all on his lonesome. Even though things are still fairly bleak compared to normality, there is cause for cautious optimism.
Based on the most recent estimates, projections, and tracking, the total domestic box office haul for 2021 is estimated to come to roughly $4.4 billion. While that’s lagging way behind 2019’s average by 61%, it is at least 91% clear of where things stood this time last year, with 2020 a year we’d all like to forget for many reasons.
Marvel has been leading the way, of course, with the comic book juggernaut contributing five of the six top-earning domestic titles of 2021, thanks to No Way Home, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Black Widow, and Eternals, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and assume that the worst is over.