Spider-Man Comes Home to Marvel
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
July 9, 2017
Movie-goers today are media savvy, and early reviews do have a dramatic impact on box office, something that wasn’t true just a few years ago. The news that Homecoming is a quality movie heightened its opening weekend performance. The film opened to $50.5 million on Friday, meaning that it would beat both Garfield offerings with Friday/Saturday box office alone. Its final weekend estimate of $117 million is enough to claim second-best Spider-Man opening to date.
More importantly, the franchise is redeemed. Marvel’s staff reveres Spider-Man as a character and clearly took Sony’s failures personally. They worked hard to craft a memorable movie that combines superhero action with teen angst. Fittingly, they brought onboard John Frances Daley, a member of the Freaks and Geeks cast, to help with the latter. Spider-Man: Homecoming has amazing authenticity and a sublime performance from Michael Keaton, the first (major) movie Batman as a plausible working-man villain. Audiences ate it all up, giving the film an A Cinemascore. With glowing reviews and otherworldly word-of-mouth, the latest Spidey flick is certain to join Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman in the $300 million club.
Sony’s succeeded in bringing Spider-Man back into the limelight, almost by accident. They should do whatever Marvel asks of them moving forward to keep the character popular, and the same is true of their upcoming Sinister Six project. Corporate moviemakers can’t be too proud to ask Marvel for help in turning their iconic characters into great movies. It’s a lesson Fox needs to learn with X-Men, a franchise that’s currently in its death throes due to a couple of thoroughly mediocre recent offerings.
All of that is a side issue, though. What matters for Spider-Man: Homecoming is simple. Spider-Man is back, and movie audiences told Sony this weekend that all is forgiven…as long as they continue to play nice with Marvel. Kevin Feige might be the most important person in live action cinema today.
With Spidey hogging all the attention, Despicable Me 3 falls to second place with a 53% drop to $34 million. With a current domestic total of $149.2 million, it’s pacing well behind Minions and Despicable Me 2, but still has a significant lead over the original film in the series. Remember that the budget for DM3 was only around $80 million, so this latest film in the franchise is obviously going to be a moneymaker for Universal well before home video revenue or merchandising are counted in the mix. The overseas box office total is just short of $300 million, giving Despicable Me 3 a worldwide cumulative gross of nearly $450 million.
Third place goes to Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, which held up pretty well in the wake of its fanboy-driven, slightly holiday inflated debut. The TriStar production earned $12.8 million in weekend two, down 38% from last frame. So far, the well-reviewed, stylish film has earned $56.9 million, which means that it is not only Wright’s highest earning film of his career, but it has also almost doubled the amount of his previous top earner, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. With $14 million from international venues, this $34 million project should be quite profitable.