Spider-Man Comes Home to Marvel
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
July 9, 2017
The Andrew Garfield era is the shame of Sony. Sure, he’s a fine actor who was recently nominated for an Academy Award (no, really!), but he was a terrible, terrible, TURRible Spider-Man. His two titles grossed $262 million and $202.9 million, respectively. If you’re not sure how bad that is, understand that Spider-Man 2 earned $373.6 million, and Spider-Man is the largest winner in the franchise to date, with $403.7 million. Yes, EVERY Spider-Man movie to date has earned less than its predecessor. That’s the textbook definition of a dying franchise. Extending the thought even more, the Spider-Man franchise went from $400 million to barely $200 million in exactly four films. Sony killed Spider-Man in a way that the Green Goblin never could.
The news that Sony was going to cast yet another Spider-Man and try to reboot yet again, only three years after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was an announcement understandably met with skepticism. But Sony had an ace in the hole. They had brokered an agreement for their formerly iconic character to cameo in an upcoming Marvel movie, Captain American: Civil War. People actually WATCHED that film. They even liked it, something that hadn’t happened with a movie featuring Spider-Man since 2004! The new kid, the one Tony Stark called Underoos, showed some skill. That wasn’t the important aspect, though.
Spider-Man was officially a part of the Marvel Universe. The jazz hands and Andrew Garfield years of shame were a thing of the past. Now, Marvel and its visionary leader, Kevin Feige, were the caretakers for the teen webslinger. Spider-Man fans had hope again! And that’s what made this weekend’s debut so interesting. Sony systematically destroyed everything that people might love about Spider-Man movies. They were every bit as nonchalant about the sequels as one of their other film franchises, The Smurfs….and that series had a new release this year that you’ve already forgotten.
Marvel’s different. Marvel movies are universally great. Sure, everyone has their favorites, and a few don’t quite live up to the rest of the library, but the next truly bad movie in the Marvel Universe will be the first. Spider-Man being a part of the Marvel Universe means that the Spider-Man movie is good, at least in theory. And that leads to the question that people within the industry have debated since Captain America: Civil War came out in May of 2016.
Would consumers harbor a grudge at Sony for destroying something that they love? Or would they give the benefit of the doubt since Spider-Man: Homecoming is a Marvel movie? The answer became obvious in recent weeks as buzz started filtering in. Early reviews were glowingly positive. Even a BOP writer who doesn’t like Marvel’s offerings adored the latest Spidey movie.
Ultimately, the film wound up with a 93% fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes, making it the best-reviewed comic book movie of the year, a title that Wonder Woman seemed to have locked up. Spider-Man: Homecoming is actually one of the best reviewed comic book movies ever. Its current score is actually one point higher than The Avengers!