Spider-Man swung back into movie theaters in style this weekend, giving both Sony and the 2017 summer box office a much-needed boost. Thanks to the super-sized return of Peter Parker, business for the top ten films was up 27% over last weekend’s totals. In comparison to the top ten one year ago this weekend, however, business was down roughly two percent.
The past several years haven’t exactly been the best for Culver City-based Sony Pictures. As if the infamous 2014 computer hack wasn’t enough of a black eye for the studio – one that caused studio head Amy Pascal to resign-, their overall performance at the box office over the past several years has been consistently dismal. In the past five years, only Skyfall managed to become an outright blockbuster.
Even Sony’s attempt to resurrect their popular Spider-Man franchise was a creative and financial misfire. With their backs up against the wall, Sony decided to do something rather unorthodox: they partnered up with Disney’s Marvel Studios division to see what could be done to make Spider-Man viable again.
Whatever suggestions and changes Marvel Studios guru Kevin Feige brought to the table, they seemed to have worked big time. Backed by $140 million worth of marketing, Spider-Man: Homecoming arrived on 4,348 screens in North America this weekend where it earned a great $117 million. The film also scored an estimated $140 million from 60 international markets this weekend.
The daily box office breakdown for Homecoming was $15.4 million from Thursday night previews, $35.1 million from Friday, $37 million on Saturday and an estimated $29 million for Sunday. Homecoming’s debut represents the second biggest of all time for Sony, right behind Spider-Man 3’s $151 million grossed one decade ago.
Reviews were quite strong for the sixth Spider-Man film, which was directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car) and stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man. Critics gave the feature a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73/100 on Metacritic. Ticket buyers gave the $175 million production an “A” on CinemaScore. The next standalone Spidey flick is penciled in for July of 2019.
After opening to so-so numbers over a tepid Fourth of July holiday frame, Universal’s Despicable Me 3 dropped 53% in its second round on 4,535 screens to earn an estimated $34 million. After ten days, DM3 has scored $149.2 million so far and should be able to work its way to a domestic haul around the $220 million mark. Wherever the final numbers land domestically, they will be far below the $368 million scored by Despicable Me 2 four years ago.
Whatever loss DM3 encounters in the States, it should recover overseas. This weekend’s $139 million foreign gross helped the cartoon soar past the $300 million mark. Despicable Me 3 set a record opening for an animated feature thanks to its $66 million start in, where else? China.
In addition to the successful return of Spidey, Sony’s acclaimed action flick Baby Driver drove into third place with a solid $12.8 million from 3,226 theaters. The mild 37% decrease in second week business is the direct result of the strong word-of-mouth being spread for the Edgar Wright feature. After a week and a half, Baby Driver has collected a great $57 million so far and could continue to cruise to the $90 million mark by the end of its summer run.
The arrival of Homecoming didn’t seem to slow Warner’s Wonder Woman much. The blockbuster scored an estimated $10.1 million from 3,091 theaters in land in fourth place. Down only 35% from one week ago, the Diana Prince origin story has banked $369 million after six weeks. The film will pass Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two to become the summer’s biggest hit within the next two weeks.
Rounding out the top five was the Paramount underperformer Transformers: The Last Knight with an estimated $6 million from 3,241 theaters. Off 65% from its holiday frame, Marky Mark and Hannibal Lecter have collected a rusty $119 million after three weeks. Overseas, the film has collected $357.7 million for an overall total of $494.6 million.
- Cars 3 (Disney) $5.6 million (-42%); $133.7 million
- The House (Warner/New Line) $4.8 million (-45%); $18 million
- The Big Sick (Lionsgate) $3.65 million (+120%); $7 million
- 47 Meters Down (ENT) $2.7 million (-39%); $38.4 million
- The Beguiled (2017) (Focus) $2 million (-34%); $7.4 million
Next weekend, the acclaimed sequel War For the Planet of the Apes makes its debut along with Wish Upon. Apes is forecasted to open somewhere between $65-70 million, which should be just enough to beat Homecoming for the top spot.