Peter Parker's good fortune continues even with some mighty competition from 'The Matrix Resurrections' and 'West Side Story', as well as rising concerns over the Omicron variant — but 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' remains in the No. 1 spot and netted a few more milestones over the weekend, including crossing the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office.
According to studio estimates on Sunday, "your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man" added $81.5 million (€72 million) over the three-day weekend, down 69% from its first weekend.
With $587.1 million (€518 million) from 61 overseas markets in just 12 days of release, 'No Way Home' is a global phenomenon, grossing $1.05 billion globally and making it the highest-grossing movie of the pandemic-rattled year, according to Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Marvel's latest franchise is the first film of the pandemic to cross $1 billion (€882m) and is tied with 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' for being the third-fastest film ever to do so — all this without the benefit of its release in China.
Film critic David Mouriquand says that what sets the film apart from others is its release date and the fact that people need a superhero "to come and save the world" from the coronavirus.
"The fact that it's released at Christmas, obviously people have more time and the fact that people need a little bit of escapism," Mouriquand told Euronews.
"There's not much competition as well with regards to other films showing at the moment. We have 'West Side Story', the new movie by Steven Spielberg, but it seems that people are not really in the mood for a musical right now, and the new Matrix film, which is also going directly to streaming. The fact is that the new Spider-Man film is only in cinemas. It's not doing a day and date release. So if you want to see it, you have to go to the cinema," he added.
'No Way Home' is the third chapter in the cycle of Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker and Zendaya as MJ.
The latest installment features a supporting turn from Benedict Cumberbatch as the Marvel sorcerer Doctor Strange.
"There are a lot of young actors in the franchise, and this is a film that celebrates the canon of these 20 years of film," Mouriquand went on.
The series is a collaboration between the Disney-owned powerhouse Marvel Studios and Sony, which owns film rights to the Spider-Man character.
The Exberliner film critic revealed that the "lengthy rumour mill" before the release of the film also contributed to driving younger audiences to watch 'No Way Home' in cinemas.
"Who's going to be in it? Will other Spider-Mans appear? Are the old villains coming back?" he added, referring to the questions asked on social media before the film was released.
Watch the full interview with Exberliner film critic David Mouriquand in the video player, above.