For fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what a way to send off the year with one installment of the superhero movie franchise’s current “Phase 4” story arc. And it is one that features a major MCU (and Marvel in general) character to boot: Spider-Man. Following the epic cliffhanger of “Spider-Man: Far from Home” in 2019 (and the close-call breakdown of the Sony-Marvel Studios sharing agreement with the character for films), MCU and Spider-fans have been looking forward to the follow-up in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Even with the ongoing pandemic, its weekend release last Friday was a confident record-breaker.

As told by The Hollywood Reporter, the December 17 premiere of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has seen box office returns that hearken back to days when theaters were packed without fear of COVID-19 and its variants. That pretty much translates into a global debut worth some $600.8 million dollars, $260 of which comes from US and Canadian moviegoers with the remaining $340.8 from everywhere else around the world, as of figures shared by Sony Pictures this past Monday, December 20. The turnout is in sheer defiance to concerns regarding the new COVID Omicron, as more people worldwide return to cinemas.

Ever since the pandemic struck in early 2020, no major movies that braved a release in the past two years have reached the by-then comfortable $1 billion blockbuster take. But if the current trend of 9 out of every 10 American moviegoers going to watch “No Way Home” continues to hold (according to analytics outfit EntTelligence), then this third part of the MCU Spider-Man trilogy may become the first to hit that peak again during its box office run. By now, the draw in its casting is an open secret that can really spoil Marvel fans yet to watch it.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” stars Tom Holland as embattled young superhero Peter Parker, whose costumed identity as Spider-Man was leaked in the wake of “Far from Home,” making his life and that of his family and friends very uncomfortable. An ill-advised attempt to ask magical ally Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help results in a multiverse-boundary collapse, causing super-villains from other dimensions that have fought Spider-Man to appear on MCU Earth. The fact that these characters are reprised by actors from previous non-MCU “Spider-Man” movies by Sony-Columbia Pictures hint majorly at the other members of this film’s cast that has got the movie Spider-fans excited.

The film also stars Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, and past Spider-villain veterans Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx among several others. “No Way Home” is already in some theaters worldwide, with some markets having to wait until January 2022 for release.

Image courtesy of Variety