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Spider-Man: No Way Home's Stunning Profit Makes The Case For Theaters

While the COVID-19 pandemic touched nearly every one of the 7 billion lives on the planet, most of us are heading back to normalcy more than two years later. If you are in the movie business, that normalcy is a little different than it looked in 2019. But thanks to "Spider-Man: No Way Home," theaters and studios may see the evidence they need to return to the pre-COVID strategy that has been missing for two years.

"The movie business is over," said Barry Diller last summer during an interview with NPR. Diller spent decades as the chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox. He continued, "The movie business as before is finished and will never come back."

But is he right? Did the COVID-19 pandemic really kill the movie business? Or was the pandemic the final straw that broke the back of a camel suffering from trying to keep up with the streaming industry? Are movie theaters savable? The theater run of the MCU's latest big-budget blockbuster, "Spider-Man: No Way Home," makes the case that not only is the theater business alive and well, but maybe even more profitable than it was before.

Spider-Man ended up being the hero we needed right now

The movie business is just that, a business. While fans view movies as a form of entertainment, an escape from our daily lives to dive into fantasies, things are different for studio executives, as these films put food on the table. With the development of streaming services and their investments into original content offering a competition never before seen by the cinemas, they were primed for the struggle before COVID-19 even arrived. This competition made investing in big blockbusters to do a theater run threaten a massive loss that could cripple a studio, especially after the struggles of the pandemic.

Enter Tom Holland's third solo adventure as the webhead in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." With the third biggest global opening in history, Spider-Man swung in with the good news that theaters are back. Comscore Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian recently told Deadline how "Spider-Man: No Way Home" may have saved the industry. "'Spider-Man: No Way Home' is arguably the most important movie to the movie theater industry ever. Can you imagine if it had flopped?" he said. "Then every other movie would have been negatively impacted due to a lack of dynamic momentum to carry forward in the box office. More importantly, the perception of the movie theater business as a viable enterprise would've been immeasurably impacted and not in a good way,"

The citizens of New York have a lot to thank their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man for as he battles the big baddies of the Marvel Universe. And we, as movie fans, have a lot to thank him for as well. If even a Marvel movie couldn't do well in a theater, studios would continue focusing on streaming services, and theaters would have likely gone the way of the dodo bird.