Demand for tickets to see “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was so great at the stroke of midnight on Monday that multiple sites crashed at the sudden crush of traffic. The occurrence is a first since the pandemic swept the globe, representing a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for movie studios and exhibitors.
Ticketing sites such as Fandango, Atom Tickets, and MovieTickets.com strained and occasionally broke as a result of the overwhelming surge of demand. Movie theater sites such as Regal, AMC, and Cinemark did the same, with some visitors being placed in hour-long queues until their orders could be processed and filled.
“There are different tiers of intense fan demand when it comes to box office pre-sales, and this film is clearly showing it belongs near the top with a select few others,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “For anyone who doubted the communal draw of the theatrical experience over the past two years, look to this enthusiasm for ‘Spider-Man’ as a major inflection point during the box office recovery period and the sign of a bright future ahead.”
The last time ticketing sites experienced such demand was in 2019, when “Avengers: Endgame” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” hit the pre-sale market.
The following year, 2020, was the first year that fans went without a new Marvel release in over a decade.
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As of this writing, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” stands as the domestic box office champ of 2021, with $225 million in gross receipts. It is followed by “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” with $210 million and “Black Widow” with $184 million. However, “Spider-Man” is largely expected to easily top $100 million in its Dec. 17 opening weekend alone, eventually taking over the top spot as the biggest box office earner of 2021.
Previous Tom Holland “Spider-Man” films opened at $117 million in 2017 and $92 million in 2019, respectively.
“It would be entirely fitting that a ‘Spider-Man’ movie could potentially be the first pandemic-era release to break the $100 million opening weekend mark,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “It should come as no surprise that pre-release online ticket sales for ‘No Way Home’ are, in essence, breaking the internet as excited fans clamor to be the first in the virtual line to grab their tickets for the film.”