Fans of Marvel and the MCU may remember that the release of tickets for Avengers: Endgame did a number on cinema ticket sites across the US in 2019. It looks like Spider-Man: No Way Home did precisely the same thing late Sunday, with fans online claiming both AMC and Fandango were down as a result of the demand.
As of early Monday, AMC, Atom, Fandango, Cinemark and Alamo Drafthouse’s sites all appeared to be up and running again.
The release of an NFT could be partly to blame. Earlier on Sunday AMC announced that the first 86,000 “AMC Stubs A-List, Premiere, or Investor Connect members” who purchased or reserved tickets for a Dec. 16 showing of Spider-Man would receive an “eco-friendly” Spider-Man NFT for their troubles. Hard to say if this had any impact on the AMC site going down, but it most likely didn’t help. AMC and Fandango didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is something that the box office has not experienced since the pandemic began and a sign that with the right releases, the movie theater industry has a “bright future,” experts say.
The pandemic battered cinemas, crushing demand and nearly bankrupting some of the industry’s largest exhibitors. The box office has been slow to rebound, but sustained momentum over the last six months has provided confidence in an eventual recovery.
Overnight, the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a co-production between Disney and Sony, has sparked even more optimism. Ticketing sites like Atom Tickets, Fandango and MovieTickets.com alongside movie theater sites like AMC, Cinemark and Regal saw a surge of demand for tickets leading many to crash or place visitors in hour-long online queues.
“There are different tiers of intense fan demand when it comes to box office pre-sales, and this film is clearly showing it belongs near the top with a select few others,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “For anyone who doubted the communal draw of the theatrical experience over the past two years, look to this enthusiasm for ‘Spider-Man’ as a major inflection point during the box office recovery period and the sign of a bright future ahead.”
This kind of fervor has not been seen at the box office since 2019 when advanced tickets for titles like “Avengers: Endgame” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” went on sale.
Movie theater chains have been eagerly awaiting the debut of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” with some going as far as to provide additional incentives for moviegoers to pick up tickets for opening night.
AMC partnered with and Sony Pictures to offer 86,000 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to members of its AMC Stubs Premiere, AMC Stubs A-List and AMC Investor Connect who ordered tickets for the Dec. 16 opening of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in advance.
Box office analysts were already optimistic that the latest Spider-Man film could top $100 million during its December debut, but this high demand for tickets is even more encouraging for the film’s opening.
The previous solo films for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man opened at $117 million in 2017 and $92 million in 2019, according to data from Comscore.
“It would be entirely fitting that a Spider-Man movie could potentially be the first pandemic-era release to break the $100 million opening weekend mark,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, noting that Sam Raimi’s 2002 “Spider-Man” was the first film in the history of cinema to open to more than $100 million at the box office.
“It should come as no surprise that pre-release online ticket sales for ‘No Way Home’ are, in essence, breaking the internet as excited fans clamor to be the first in the virtual line to grab their tickets for the film.”
Also Monday, No Way Home producer Amy Pascal reportedly confirmed that Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios are “getting ready to make the next Spider-Man movie.” So we might see movie theater sites attracting masses of fans again in a few years.
Rush for ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Tickets Sparks Wave of Jokes, Memes
Huge demand for tickets to go and see the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: No Way Home set off a frenzy among fans, causing several box office sites to crash.
Interest in the highly anticipated blockbuster pushed demand for tickets to levels not seen since before the pandemic. They were released at midnight on November 29 and many fans also reported lengthy waiting times before they were able to purchase tickets on websites.
Others noted that tickets were already being resold on eBay at prices ranging from $200 to $25,000.NEWSWEEK NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP >
The frenzy sparked a wave of jokes and memes on social media, as moviegoers laughed about trying and either failing or succeeding to get tickets at their local cinemas all over the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
ComicBook.com’s Brandon Davis shared a screenshot of one of the listings and the staggering price being sought.
This installment of the beloved franchise will be Tom Holland’s third standalone film and many characters from previous Spider-Man films are expected to feature.
Fans have long speculated that former Spider-Man stars Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will be involved somehow.
One viral tweet borrowed from the first Tobey Maguire movie, joking: “I need that ticket.”
While another shared a clip of multiple people dressed as Spider-Man in a library, joking: “Fans trying to buy #SpiderManNoWayHome tickets.”
Box office analysts have said that the excitement surrounding Spider-Man: No Way Home hints at a positive recovery for the cinema industry.
“There are different tiers of intense fan demand when it comes to box office pre-sales, and this film is clearly showing it belongs near the top with a select few others,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, told NBC.
“For anyone who doubted the communal draw of the theatrical experience over the past two years, look to this enthusiasm for Spider-Man as a major inflection point during the box office recovery period and the sign of a bright future ahead.”