How Tobey Maguire And Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man Films Are Benefitting From Spider-Man: No Way Home
A rising tide floats all boats.
This story is going to get into spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home, so if you haven’t yet seen the new sequel, you might want to back out now.
Jon Watts’ new sequel Spider-Man: No Way Home is a direct follow up to his Spider-Man: Far From Home, literally picking up the moment Far From Home ended as Peter Parker (Tom Holland) got his secret identity revealed. But by the time the audience got to the third act of No Way Home, they realized that the expansive and ambitious sequel was also a continuation of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man franchises, as the two veteran Spider-Men returned to the role and allowed their interpretations of Peter Parker to reach some natural closure.
I’m a Spider-Man junkie. I’ve collected his comics since my childhood, and covered all of the Spider-Man films as a professional film journalist since Sam Raimi introduced him in 2002. Hell, I’m writing the book on Spider-Man’s Hollywood history. So I wasn’t very surprised to receive multiple text message from friends who were curious about Spider-Man: No Way Home asking me, “Do I need to know what happened in the Tobey or Andrew movies to get this movie?”
The short answer is, “Yes.” The longer answer is, “Sure, I understand that you don’t have time to binge seven movies before hitting No Way Home, and there are reasons why you probably skipped Spider-Man 3 or The Amazing Spider-Man 2 over the years. But every Spider-Man movie is special, and they all have qualities worth celebrating, so go back now and revisit them!”
Which seems to be exactly what casual Spider-Man fans and junkies alike are doing. The overwhelming popularity of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has been a box office juggernaut since opening on December 17, has led to increased rentals and sales for the existing Spider-Man movies, putting almost all of them back onto the charts of the Apple Movie U.S. store. As of Monday, January 3, Spider-Man movies occupied 13 out of Apple’s Top 50 chart positions, with Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Far From Home (third place), Spider-Man: Homecoming (seventh place), and Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man (ninth place) cracking the Top 10.
Elsewhere on the Apple Movie chart, pre-sales for Spider-Man: No Way Home elevated that movie (which is still in theaters) to the 17 slot, while Sony’s 7-Movie Spider-Man Film Collection ranked right ahead of it at 16. And according to statistics provided by the studio, digital sales and rentals on Spider-Man titles were 11 times greater than they were during the same period in 2020. I guess a lot of people were ready to commit to the binge following the team up goodness of No Way Home.
Channel surfers also were spending more time with Spider-Man and his earlier movies, as cable viewership for the hero’s adventures were up 78% versus where they were prior to Spider-Man: No Way Home opening. In addition, per Sony, viewer engagement (or the number of minutes viewed per movie) was up a whopping 130% in the three weeks following No Way Home’s release versus the three weeks prior to the film’s arrival.
Needless to say, interest in Spider-Man remains at an all-time high, and Spider-Man: No Way Home currently is serving as the rising tide that floats all boats. The blockbuster sequel has sparked interest in the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield franchises, as the multiverse have now made those movies MCU canon. It’s a remarkable achievement, and one that I believe will continue to affect the superhero genre, and the world of Spider-Man movies, for years to come.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.