When the clock stuck midnight on Nov. 29, tickets for "Spider-Man: No Way Home" went on sale. Within minutes domestic movie ticket sites began to crash as moviegoers rushed to snag seats for one of the most anticipated films of the year.
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.