Spider-Man: No Way Home broke box office records at some of the country’s largest theatre chains on its opening night. That’s good news for movie theatres, whose survival appeared to be in jeopardy at the start of the pandemic, and it indicates that moviegoers’ interest hasn’t shifted dramatically in response.
AMC announced on Friday that approximately 1.1 million moviegoers saw Spider-Man: No Way Home on its opening night, making it the highest-grossing opening night for a December title in AMC history. The film also broke records for IMAX, 4DX, ScreenX, and RPX formats, becoming Regal’s second-highest Thursday box office title in its history.
“The anticipation for Spider-Man: No Way Home has completely exceeded our expectations,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Regal parent Cineworld. “We are just as excited as our moviegoers to see our favorite web-slinger return to Regal, and we want to thank our friends at Sony for delivering another incredible tentpole.”
While the film is expected to do well this weekend, it’s unclear what effect the omicron variant will have on Spider-Man’s in the future. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, much remains unknown about the variant, such as whether omicron causes more severe illness or death than the original virus and the Delta variant. Breakthrough cases in those who have been vaccinated, on the other hand, are expected, according to the agency, with examples already being reported.
It’s also unclear how theatres intend to deal with the omicron variant’s spread. None of the major US distributors responded to The Verge’s requests for comment on moviegoer safety protocols or whether exhibition delays or closures were imminent on Thursday.