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Spider-Man: No Way Home hasn't just broken the multiverse — it's also shattered the World Wide Web (pun intended). According to a new report by CNBC, major ticket vendors like Fandango and Atom Tickets reported major outages Monday as Sony kicked off early pre-sales for No Way Home ahead of the movie's wide theatrical release next month.
These sites either placed eager customers into hour-long waiting queues or simply crashed entirely. It's a phenomenon we haven't really seen since Avengers: Endgame all the way back in 2019. As several outlets have pointed out, this is a very good indicator for theaters, which have struggled to achieve massive box office numbers in the age of COVID-19.
Indeed, Tom Holland's third solo outing as Marvel's iconic wall-crawler could be the first tentpole of the pandemic era to crack $100 million domestically in its opening weekend. Moreover, it could be the first pandemic title to reach $1 billion globally. So far, only one Spider-Man project — 2019's Far From Home — has surpassed $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
"As arguably the most-anticipated movie of the pandemic era, it should come as no surprise that Spider-Man: No Way Home lit up the virtual ticket booth as passionate fans snapped up their seats at the multiplex and in the process may be making box office history," Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst at Comscore, tells SYFY WIRE. "Notably, it has been almost two years since a movie opened to over $100 million in its opening weekend in North America, so the stage is set for a grand debut for the latest web-slinging extravaganza."
Dergarabedian adds that a North American bow of $100+ million has become "an opening weekend revenue unicorn of sorts," but "if these pre-sales are any kind of indicator, the latest Tom Holland-powered Spider-Man epic could be the just the film to reach that elusive milestone!"
A number of scalped tickets are currently available to bid on via eBay for tens of thousands of dollars (we wish we were kidding). The bad news is you'll have to shell out $25,000 to see the film opening night. The good news? You get free shipping! The madness — shoutout Doctor Strange — goes back to what we said above: audience hype for an upcoming superhero movie hasn't been this intense since Endgame.
"The secondary market's resale asking prices for opening night tickets are certainly a rarity for movies given the number of showtimes available, but they again speak to the rabid enthusiasm of this movie's particular fan base and the urgency of seeing it as soon as possible," says Shawn Robbins, Chief Analyst at Boxoffice Pro.
"Spider-Man: No Way Home has long been circled on the calendar as the biggest event movie of the pandemic era thus far. Its pre-sale demand confirms as much, and then some, with intense fan interest rivaling that of pre-COVID mega-events like the Avengers and Star Wars blockbusters," Robbins continues. "With pandemic considerations still in mind, No Way Home is shaping up to be an historic performer for movie theaters that may signal the next wave of theatrical recovery and improving audience comfort going into the new year."
No Way Home promises a similar epic scale with the return of previously-established Spider-Man villains from other cinematic realities: Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), the Lizard (Rhys Ifans), and potentially Venom (Tom Hardy). Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are rumored to reprise their respective silver screen iterations of Peter Parker, but fans likely won't get firm confirmation until opening night.
"The combination of Marvel's goodwill, Spider-Man's broad popularity, and a film that promises to break open the multiverse of comic book franchises are translating into a potential box office phenomenon that cinema owners and audiences will warmly welcome over the holidays," Robbins concludes.
While No Way Home will close out the current Spider-Man trilogy in the MCU (overseen by consistent director Jon Watts), Sony Pictures executive Amy Pascal recently assured fans that the studio is already working on a brand-new trio of web-slinging films centered around the beloved character. At the same time, however, insiders close to the matter stated that plans for another three movies are not yet official.
Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters everywhere on Friday, Dec. 17.