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Review: The Best Movies of 2021 at worldwide box office

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Movies crosses $1 billion mark at worldwide box office

Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is a global phenomenon.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” cruised past the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office Sunday, making it the highest-grossing movie of the pandemic-rattled year, according to Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“No Way Home” hurtled to that financial milestone after just two weeks in multiplexes. The superhero smash has netted $467.3 million from North American theaters and $587.1 million more from international markets, the studio said.

The movie easily conquered the three-day holiday weekend in North America, too, grossing about $81 million from 4,336 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Peter Parker’s climb to the top of the box-office charts came even as the omicron variant of the coronavirus spread rapidly across the U.S., raising new concerns about indoor activities.

The film has sprinted past “even the most ambitious expectations and amid the headwinds presented by the omicron variant,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, which tracks box office data.

The last film to reach $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales was “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (2019), according to Comscore.

“No Way Home” is the third chapter in the cycle of Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland and Zendaya. The latest installment features a supporting turn from Benedict Cumberbatch as the Marvel sorcerer Doctor Strange.

The series is a collaboration between the Disney-owned powerhouse Marvel Studios and Sony, which owns film rights to the Spider-Man character.

“Sing 2,” an animated musical featuring the voices of Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, claimed the No. 2 spot on the domestic charts, earning $23.76 million from 3,892 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. (The movie was distributed by Universal Pictures, a unit of NBC News’ parent company, NBCUniversal.)

The holiday weekend’s other major new releases turned in less commanding commercial performances.

“The Matrix Resurrections,” the fourth installment in the mind-bending science fiction series, collected $22.5 million in North America after debuting Wednesday, including $12 million over the three-day weekend, according to Warner Bros.

“Resurrections” premiered simultaneously on the ad-free version of the streaming service HBO Max. The platform does not publicly disclose viewership data, making it difficult to estimate how many people saw the movie during its opening weekend.

The new “Matrix” has so far drawn a mixed critical response, notching a 66 percent “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes and a B- in CinemaScore exit polls as of Sunday morning.

“The King’s Man,” the third entry in Matthew Vaughn’s violent “Kingsman” spy series, nabbed $10 million in North American theaters after debuting Wednesday, including $6.3 million over the three-day weekend.

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Movies Online Hurtles Past $1B at Global Box Office in Pandemic-Era First

On Sunday, the superhero blockbuster became the first film of the pandemic era to cross the $1 billion mark at the global box office.

And it accomplished the feat in near-record time. Avengers: Endgame is No. 1 on the list (five days), followed by Avengers: Infinity War (11 days) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12 days). Sunday is No Way Home‘s 12th day in release.

No Way Home has shattered numerous records since beginning its exclusive theatrical run and has dominated the Christmas box office.

Box Office: ‘No Time To Die’ Tops $770M While ‘Eternals’ And ‘Dune’ Approach $400M

In holdover news for the weekend box office, No Time to Die notched yet more arbitrary milestones. The 25th James Bond film earned another $570,000 (-37%) in North America for a $160.5 million domestic cume. That puts it just under the $160.9 million domestic finish of Die Another Day in 2002, after which it will sit behind only the previous four Daniel Craig 007 movies ($167 million, $168 million, $304 million and $200 million) in unadjusted domestic box office. the film has earned $100 million overseas specifically in MGM territories, which is a record/first-time milestone for the James Bond franchise. Meanwhile, the Cary Fukunaga-directed flick earned another $2.813 million overseas courtesy of Universal.

That brings its Universal-only overseas gross to $510.538 million, its overseas cume to $610.5 million (bigger than the total worldwide gross, sans reissues, of every 007 film save for the last two) and its global cume to $771 million. That’s $50 million more than the next closest 2020/2021 Hollywood competitor, F9 (also Universal, with $721 million) and over/under double the likes of Black Widow ($380 million), Eternals Movies ($395 million) and Dune ($389 million). These grosses imply that, sans Covid, the film would have earned grosses on par with at least Spectre ($881 million in 2015).There is no guarantee that even Spider-Man: No Way Home will make as much overseas as the Bond flick.

Sure, it’ll surely be huge and make more in North America and worldwide. However, among previous Spider-Man movies, sans inflation, only Far from Home ($745 million overseas, including $199 million in China) has earned more than $611 million overseas. The question is whether the multiverse-hopping MCU title can pull a similar trick to Captain America: Civil War, namely in a threequel playing like a glorified Avengers-level event rather than just the third installment in a respective franchise. Do those not perpetually online care about previous characters from previous Spider-Man franchises making a return trip? This is not a prediction, and really it’s just whether No Way Home makes “most of the money” or “all the money.”

Encanto earned another Walt Disney’s Encanto earned another $9.425 million (-28%) this weekend for a $71.345 million 19-day gross. The good news is that it had a better third-weekend hold than the even Frozen (-28%). Unlike years past, Disney doesn’t have a super-big (or super important) year-end flick like The Force Awakens, Mary Poppins Returns or Into the Woods providing self-inflicted competition. However, the animated gem is arriving on Disney+ on Christmas Eve, a much-publicized fact that is surely cutting into the theatrical revenue. It’ll still need strong holiday legs to get past (random comparison for perspective) the $99 million domestic/$193 million global cume of Gnomeo and Juliet in early 2011.

Encanto is still the biggest-grossing domestic-grossing toon since Frozen II, even if I expect Illumination’s Sing 2 to have a much easier time of crossing $100 million domestic. And its $151 million global cume is above any other toon save for The Croods: A New Age ($203 million in 2020/2021). At least Disney’s Thanksgiving date for Strange World means the Mouse House isn’t giving up on original animated features. Although if Turning Red underwhelms in March, Strange World stumbles next Thanksgiving and Lightyear scores next June, well, presumed quality notwithstanding, that will be a very grim message about what’s worth making and releasing in theaters. Once again, we vote with our wallet.

Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife earned $7.1 million (-31%) fourth-weekend gross for a $112 million 24-day cume. That’ll put it past the $109 million domestic cume of Ghostbusters II ($258 million adjusted-for-inflation). Once it gets past $123 million over the holiday, it’ll be past Dune ($106 million), Jungle Cruise ($118 million) and Free Guy ($122 million) in terms of halfway decent domestic runs. It should pass the $128 million domestic cume of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call ($128 million in 2016) but not the $135 million inflation-adjusted total. Still, again, when you only spend $75 million (and not $144 million), you can thrive from a “same as the last time” result and a $165 million-and-counting global cume is a moderate win.

Meanwhile, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City will pass $15.5 million domestic and $31 million worldwide on a $25 million budget as Venom: Let There Be Carnage ends the weekend with $212 million domestic and $493 million worldwide on a $110 million budget. The latter will end up within 15% of Venom’s sans-China cume ($585 million) by the time it wraps up. MGM’s House of Gucci earned a $4.1 million (-42%) third-weekend gross. That gives Ridley Scott’s $75 million crime/business melodrama a $41 million 17-day cume as it nears $100 million worldwide. That’s unexceptional, but it’s easily the biggest-grossing straight-up adult-skewing, non-action drama since Uncut Gems ($49 million) in late 2019.

House of Gucci is now likely to be the only awards season contender (give or take Dune) likely to be seen as at least a modest theatrical success. That may not turn it into a frontrunner (although it won’t hurt Lady Gaga’s Best Actress chances), but it’ll keep it in the conversation. Meanwhile, Disney’s Eternals will earn $3.1 million (-24%) in weekend six for a $161 million domestic cume. The film is coming to Disney+ on January 12, and it’ll need a Christmas miracle to get past $171 million to avoid being the lowest-grossing MCU movie ever in inflation-adjusted domestic earnings. Yes, The Incredible Hulk earned $132 million in 2008, but that would be $171 million in 2021 ticket prices.

Fathom Events’ Christmas With The Chosen: The Messengers grossed $1.29 million (-70%) in 1,450 theaters. The feature-length installment of the popular streaming series (concerning the birth of Jesus from the point-of-view of Mary and Joseph) was obviously a one-week wonder, but one week was enough. With $13.44 million in 12 days, the faith-based drama/music concert is going toe to toe with the likes of King Richard ($14.4 million), The Last Duel ($10.8 million), The French Dispatch ($15.5 million) and Last Night in Soho ($10.1 million). It’s great that audiences are showing up for a rare circumstance where “this thing you love is now a movie” still qualifies as an event. But, my god, what has the streaming era wrought?

Paramount’s Clifford: The Big Red Dog will have $47.4 million domestic tomorrow, while Focus Features’ Belfast will have $6.5 million domestic after 31 days in theaters. Dune earned $3 million in Australia this weekend to bump its worldwide cume to $389 million. Hey, at least the $165 million sci-fi flick has earned about as much as Snow White and the Huntsman ($395 million on a $170 million budget), and that one got a sequel as well. I’d expect Dune part Two to do better than The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Meanwhile, MGM’s and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza grossed $176,350 (-27%) for a still-huge $44,088 per-theater average for a $1.1 million 17-day cume.

Fathom Events’ Christmas With The Chosen: The Messengers grossed $1.29 million (-70%) in 1,450 theaters. The feature-length installment of the popular streaming series (concerning the birth of Jesus from the point-of-view of Mary and Joseph) was obviously a one-week wonder, but one week was enough. With $13.44 million in 12 days, the faith-based drama/music concert is going toe to toe with the likes of King Richard ($14.4 million), The Last Duel ($10.8 million), The French Dispatch ($15.5 million) and Last Night in Soho ($10.1 million). It’s great that audiences are showing up for a rare circumstance where “this thing you love is now a movie” still qualifies as an event. But, my god, what has the streaming era wrought?

Paramount’s Clifford: The Big Red Dog will have $47.4 million domestic tomorrow, while Focus Features’ Belfast will have $6.5 million domestic after 31 days in theaters. Dune earned $3 million in Australia this weekend to bump its worldwide cume to $389 million. Hey, at least the $165 million sci-fi flick has earned about as much as Snow White and the Huntsman ($395 million on a $170 million budget), and that one got a sequel as well. I’d expect Dune part Two to do better than The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Meanwhile, MGM’s and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza grossed $176,350 (-27%) for a still-huge $44,088 per-theater average for a $1.1 million 17-day cume.

Till We Meet Again movie review: Taiwanese fantasy romance is director Giddens Ko’s best since You Are the Apple of My Eye

Kai Ko, Gingle Wang and Vivian Sung star in this story of a young slacker who dies in an accident and must earn credit in the afterlife to be reincarnated

By turns funny, scary, tragic and achingly romantic, the film is as entertaining and accessible for international audiences as for director Ko’s devoted fans

In Giddens Ko Ching-teng’s version of the afterlife, reincarnation isn’t just real, it’s an efficient way to avoid overcrowding in the underworld. But the recently deceased must have earned sufficient goodwill points on Earth to secure their return to the real world, or so it goes in Till We Meet Again Movies 2021, the latest genre-bending offering from the Taiwanese author turned filmmaker.
Kai Ko Chen-tung, who previously starred in Giddens Ko’s blockbuster teen romance You Are the Apple of My Eye, reunites with the filmmaker to play Alan, a young slacker struck down in his prime by a freak meteorological accident.
Lacking the necessary credit to be reincarnated as anything more appealing than a snail, Alan grudgingly signs up to become a trainee love god, alongside Gingle Wang Ching’s similarly dissatisfied high-school girl, Pinky.

Should the mismatched couple bring enough fated lovers together, using magical red string conjured from their fingertips, then they will be reincarnated. Complications arise, however, when Alan’s next target is revealed to be his own heartbroken girlfriend, Mi (Vivian Sung Yun-hua).

Adapted from one of Giddens Ko’s many bestselling novels, Till We Meet Again is propelled by a boundless energy, vibrant visual style and the playful bickering of its two young leads. The fantastical premise draws from ethereal Hollywood classics like A Matter of Life and Death, Heaven Can Wait and even Yuletide favourite It’s a Wonderful Life.

The underworld itself is depicted as a Terry Gilliam-esque bureaucratic labyrinth, run by pencil-pushers and rubber-stamp-wielding civil servants rather than any supreme celestial being. Even in death, Ko would have us believe, there is no escaping red tape.
There is a bizarre, horror movies-infused subplot involving a rampaging ancient demon (played by Umin Boya) on a mission of revenge that never quite feels connected with the rest of the film. For the most part, however, this chaotic and wildly inventive supernatural romcom fantasy is a big-hearted delight, and deservedly collected awards for hair and make-up and sound effects in November’s Golden Horse Awards in Taipei.

With a film that is by turns funny, scary, tragic and achingly romantic, Ko proves once again his unique understanding of the younger generation; having articulated their passions and anxieties on the page, he has now vividly realising them on the big screen. Till We Meet Again is slick, as entertaining and accessible for international audiences as for Ko’s devoted fans, and should do well at the box office.
As Huey Lewis so rightly said, the power of love is a curious thing, but it might just save your life.