Sony and Marvel Studios’ reboot swings to the third-best opening of the year so far behind ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.’
Spidey has returned home in style.
Over the weekend, Spider-Man: Homecoming opened to $117 million from 4,348 theaters at the North American box office in a major victory for Sony Pictures, which made the unorthodox decision to partner with Disney’s Marvel Studios in rebooting the marquee superhero franchise.
The critically acclaimed tentpole exceeded expectations, passing up Wonder Woman ($103.3 million) to boast the third-best North American opening of the year so far behind Beauty and the Beast ($174.8 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($146.5 million). It becomes only the eleventh superhero pic to open to $100 million or more, and narrowly marks the second-biggest three-day launch of the franchise behind Spider-Man 3, not adjusting for inflation.
In a summer season when many tentpoles have been clobbered by critics, Homecoming boasts a 94 percent certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as nabbing a franchise-best A CinemaScore from audiences. (Wonder Woman and Guardians Vol. 2 were likewise embraced by reviewers and ticket buyers.) The Spider-Man pic skewed male (60 percent), while 50 percent of the audience was under the age of 25, an impressive stat.
Starring Tom Holland as the whimsical teenage web slinger, Homecoming, costing $175 million to produce, launches a new series of Spider-Man films and spinoffs that will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Historically, Hollywood studios holding the film rights to Marvel comic book characters — such as Sony with Spider-Man, or 20th Century Fox with its X-Men franchise — have maintained creative ownership of their superhero properties. Sony made the unorthodox decision to team with Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios after the two Amazing Spider-Man pics lagged well behind the original Spider-Man film trilogy. (Ergo, that’s why Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., and other members of the Avengers crew show up in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and why Holland first appeared as Spider-Man in Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.)
“This is a great result, and a gigantic win for Sony and for Marvel,” says Sony president of worldwide marketing and distribution Josh Greenstein. “Spider-Man is one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe, and Homecoming is a fresh take.”
Former Sony Pictures vice chairman Amy Pascal, who helped orchestrate the unique partnership with Marvel before exiting the studio, is a lead producer on Homecoming. The pic, directed by Jon Watts, also stars Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover and Tyne Daly also star.
Homecoming‘s ranking in the Spider-Man pantheon changes when adjusting for inflation. In May 2002, Spider-Man made history when opening to a then-record $114.8 million — or $174 million by today’s terms — becoming the poster child for the modern-day superhero pic.
Comparisons to Spider-Man 2 (2004) are complicated by the fact that the sequel debuted over the long July Fourth corridor in 2004, amassing $180.1 million in its first five days, or $256.3 million when adjusted for inflation. That included an official four-day weekend of $115.8 million, or $165 million when adjusted. (Spider-Man 3‘s adjusted opening is $174.7 million.)
The Amazing Spider-Man likewise opened over the July Fourth holiday, opening on July 3, 2012 (a Tuesday) and earning $137 million in its first six days, or $155.7 million when adjusted for inflation. The three-day weekend portion was $62 million, or $70.5 million when adjusted. Amazing Spider-Man opened to $91.6 million in early May 2014, or $97.2 million when adjusted.
No other movie dared open nationwide opposite Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Among holdovers, Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 3 declined 53 percent to $34 million from 4,535 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $149.2 million and global tally well north of $300 million. The animated event film is massive overseas, where it placed No. 1 for the weekend with $139 million for a foreign total of $298.4 million and $447.8 million globally. That includes a record-breaking China debut of $66 million, the top launch of all time for an animated film.
Edgar Wright’s heist thriller Baby Driver — Sony’s second summer win — followed at No. 3 in North America with an estimated $13 million from 3,226 theaters for a pleasing total of $57 million against a modest $34 million net budget. Baby Driver fell only 37 percent in its sophomore outing.
Wonder Woman placed No. 4 all the way in its sixth weekend with $10.1 million for a domestic tally of $368.8 million and $745.8 million worldwide. Transformers: The Last Knight rounded out the top five with $6.3 million in its third weekend for a lackluster North American total of $118.9 million. Overseas, The Last Knight is faring far better with $357.7 million to date for a worldwide cume of $494.6 million.
At the specialty box office, Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick continued to impress, moving into the top 10 as it expanded into 326 theaters. The Amazon Studios and Lionsgate release grossed $3.7 million to place No. 8. The movie, boasting an early domestic total of $6.9 million, once again scored a strong per theater average, or $11,200. The Big Sick expands nationwide on July 14.