New kid on the block
‘Spider Man’ slings $117-million debut and Sony rejoices
“Spider-Man: Homecoming’’ swung past expectations, opening with an estimated $117 million in North America and giving a Sony Pictures a much needed hit.
“Homecoming’’ was one of the biggest tests yet for the notion that domestic moviegoers are growing weary of sequels and reboots and suffering so-called “franchise fatigue.’’ ‘’Homecoming” kicks off the third ‘’Spider-Man” iteration in the last 15 years, and the second reboot since 2014’s ‘’The Amazing Spider-Man,” with Andrew Garfield.
But Sony has kept SpiderMan airborne. For “Homecoming,’’ the studio returned to Spider-Man’s teenage roots, casting Tom Holland in the part. Critics and audiences responded, with many calling Jon Watts’ iteration one of the best Spider-Man films.
Sony also, for the first time, partnered with Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios to produce the film and rope “Homecoming’’ into Marvel’s wider cinematic universe. Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man appears as Spider-Man’s mentor, and Michael Keaton plays the villain Vulture.
Those ingredients, along with a marketing effort that appealed to young moviegoers, pushed “Homecoming’’ to the best “Spider-Man’’ debut since 2007’s “Spider-Man 3.’’ The film, made for about $175 million, also grossed $140 million internationally over the weekend.
“It’s a triumphant return for Spider-Man,’’ said Josh Greenstein, Sony Pictures’ president of worldwide marketing and distribution.
“It’s an incredible win for Sony, for our partners at Marvel and Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal, who produced it.’’
“Even though there have been other Spider-Man movies, this film feels fresh and new and different and special, and I think that’s what’s really resonating with audiences right now,’’ added Greenstein.
Sony has struggled in the years since the infamous cyber hack of 2014, after which Tom Rothman eventually replaced Pascal as studio chief. (Pascal has since turned to producing, including this and future “Spider-Man’’ installments.) Box-office disappointments like the Dan Brown adaptation “Inferno,’’ Ang Lee’s high-framerate gambit “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’’ and the cultural flashpoint “Ghostbusters’’ have dotted its lineup.
This image released by Columbia Pictures shows Tom Holland in a scene from “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”