- "Spider-Man: No Way Home" scored $50 million in ticket sales from Thursday previews, the third-best haul in cinematic history.
- Box office analysts foresee a weekend haul nearing $200 million.
- Critics have favorably reviewed Tom Holland’s third Spider-Man film, calling it a “celebration of Spidey fandom.”
"Spider-Man: No Way Home" is already in the select company of movie franchise record-setters.
The Sony and Marvel Studios film tallied $50 million in ticket sales from Thursday previews. That's a pandemic-era best — but also the third highest in cinematic history behind "Avengers: Endgame" ($60 million) and "Stars Wars: The Force Awakens" ($57 million).
"This is a monumental debut," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
Shares of Cinemark jumped 3% on Friday, while AMC skyrocketed around 21%.
Ticket seller Fandango said it set the record for top ticket seller of the year in addition to being the hottest flick for Thursday previews since "Avengers: Endgame."
Box office analysts added "No Way Home" would easily surpass $100 million at the domestically during its opening weekend, and began reconsidering how high Spider-Man can swing after the preview results.
Sony initially projected a weekend haul of $130 million, but now analysts are boosting that estimate closer to $200 million, on positive word of mouth leading to packed cinemas this weekend as well as repeat viewings.
Critics have favorably reviewed Tom Holland's third Spider-Man film, calling it a "celebration of Spidey fandom."
"Everyone who thought the movie theater wouldn't return ... just didn't understand the power of a movie and a character like Spider-Man to bring passionate movie fans to the multiplex," Dergarabedian said.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Fandango.