“Spide-Man: No Way Home” passed $1 billion in global box office sales on Sunday, according to Sony, making it the first film to hit the notable milestone since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The threshold took the latest Marvel franchise film just 12 days to reach. In comparison, only “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War” have reached $1 billion in less time.

The film has become the first movie to surpass the $1 billion mark since the latest Star Wars film “The Rise of Skywalker” was released in December 2019. Nearly all indoor theaters in the U.S. and many theaters worldwide shut down for months starting in March 2020.

“No Way Home” reportedly hit $260 million in the U.S. alone in its opening weekend, according to Sony. The strong opening made it the second-highest opening weekend nationwide, according to Deadline. The opening weekend was also noted as the second-best opening weekend in history globally behind one of Marvel’s top Avengers films.

The remarkable success of the film during the rise in COVID-19 numbers nationwide has surprised many in the film industry.

“With Covid-impacted domestic earnings and China’s growing disinterest in Hollywood flicks, there was cause to wonder if Rise of Skywalker would be Hollywood’s last $1 billion grosser at least until Avatar 2. That Spider-Man: No Way Home has zoomed past the milestone in just over two weeks without China is the very definition of hope,” Forbes reported.

“It’s impressive that ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ managed to blow past $1 billion in ticket sales worldwide given the rapidly spreading omicron variant of COVID-19. But, so far, coronavirus concerns have done little to slow Peter Parker’s prowess; the film is still playing to many sold-out screenings nationwide,” Variety added.

Some have argued “No Way Home” has found success in part by avoiding strong progressive political messages that have divided audiences.

“Fans also loved how the entire film focused on positive, universal messaging that wasn’t overtly political like so many other contemporary movies being released lately. It was made for the fans and they reacted favorably by reaching for their wallets,” The Daily Wire’s Amanda Harding wrote.

Other film industry leaders have actually complained that the success of the action-focused Marvel film has left little room for the competition. 

The Hollywood Reporter called the movie’s popularity a “mixed blessing of sorts.” While it did bode well for future movie releases in a post-pandemic world, at least one analyst claims it will increase the divide between superhero movies and every other genre.

“This is very much a one movie marketplace as ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ operating in an alternative multi-verse where concerns over COVID don’t exist, is for now leaving the box-office crumbs for all the other movies to share,” Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian told the publication. 

In contrast with Spider-Man’s success, some have noted the lackluster response to the latest “The Matrix: Resurrections” comeback signals moviegoers have grown tired of liberal plotlines and instead desire movies that focus on entertainment.

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