‘Spider-Man’ Tackles Nationalism, Sequels at Xmas Box Office

Entering the extended Christmas weekend box office, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home appears set to add to its blockbuster status, possibly topping $90 million in second-week revenue across North America. The Tom Holland-starrer has already exceeded $356 million in domestic ticket sales, $779 million globally. The movie is now the top-grossing U.S. title in 2021, passing MGM’s latest James Bond actioner No Time to Die, with $774 million.

No Way Home looks to surpass Chinese comedy Hi, Mom ($822 million) as it narrows the gap with the communist country’s nationalist war drama, The Battle at Lake Changjin, which leads the global box office with $902 million.

It’s been an interesting dynamic in 2021 with the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party resulting in a quiet government ban of most Western movies at the world’s No. 2 box office. It’s a nationalist trend that played out at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Team USA topping China’s event-long lead in the overall medal count on the last day — in the last event of competition — only heightened the geopolitical intrigue. Just a few weeks ago, Lake Changjin’s box office lead looked unbeatable. Could the final days of 2021 produce another upset?

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Back in the homeland, a separate battle finds Universal’s animated family film Sing 2 projected to beat Warner Bros.’ The Matrix Resurrections as well as 20th Century Studios’ dark comic spy actioner The King’s Man, a prequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and 2017’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Wrote Clarisse Loughrey in the Independent: “The ‘Kingsman’ franchise is really a test of what audiences are willing to put up with in exchange for a handful of cool action scenes.”

For fans of the “Matrix” movie trilogy, it’s been 18 years since Keanu Reeves’ Neo died saving humankind. In Resurrections, Neo and his romance partner Tiffany (Carrie-Anne Moss), both return from the dead, with Neo in therapy to deal with it all. Possibly affecting the box office potential is HBO Max, which has been simultaneously streaming every Warner theatrical release this year.

Sing 2 could generate $55 million across the extended five-day weekend box office, with Resurrections at $35 million and King’s Man at $17 million.

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