A year ago many were pronouncing that cinema was dead. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the movie theater industry’s worst nightmare into reality, with simultaneous digital releases for movies meaning that theaters were no longer the only place to be for big new releases. But audiences have stayed loyal to the in-person, communal movie-watching experience, and have been gradually returning to theaters throughout 2021.
Box office numbers still aren’t where they were in 2019, but that all may change soon with the impending release of Spider-Man: No Way Home. After a barnstorming debut trailer and a marketing campaign full of awesome reveals and teases of returning characters the hype levels are off the scale, as proven by domestic pre-sales booking sites crashing and selling out almost immediately.
Now that pattern has been reflected around the world. Deadline is reporting that Mexico, the U.K., Spain, Brazil, and Central America are seeing their best-ever presales in the first full day. As a measure of how well it’s doing, in the U.K. No Way Home is seeing advance sales three times that of No Time to Die.
But there’s still a potential iceberg ahead of this ship. The Omicron variant may yet cause fresh lockdowns in various territories, with theaters likely one of the first things to shut down. Canceling all screenings of No Way Home this close to release would result in wails of disappointment unlike anything previously heard, but it’s certainly a possibility.
Even so, right now No Way Home looks like it’ll join Homecoming and Far From Home in the billion-dollar club. Here’s hoping this marks the beginning of a renaissance in the theatrical experience.
Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters on Dec. 17.