Sony-Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” swung to an impressive $15.4 million at 3,493 North American sites on Thursday night.
It was the third-highest Thursday night preview gross of 2017, trailing only “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” with $17 million and “Beauty and the Beast” with $16.3 million.
An early survey of Thursday night moviegoers showed strong support for “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” with 48% rating it “excellent” and another 38% as “very good,” according to comScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak.
Box office trackers have forecast an opening weekend take ranging from $85 million to $110 million at 4,348 locations. The studio estimates a lower $80 million. Critics have been raving about the film, which carries a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Tom Holland stars as a 15-year-old Spider-Man, after playing the character once before in “Captain America: Civil War.” The superhero strives to become worthy of holding the title of Avenger, under the skeptical guidance of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark.
Michael Keaton plays the villainous Vulture. Jon Favreau portrays Spidey’s guardian, Happy Hogan, and Zendaya stars as Michelle Jones (“MJ”), Parker’s classmate.
The movie has also consistently dominated social media in recent weeks, due to a clever marketing campaign. 2007’s “Spider-Man 3” had the largest opening of any of the five Sony Spider-Man films, with $151 million. The most recent, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” launched with $91.6 million in 2014. Tobey Maguire played Spider-Man in the first three films, followed by Andrew Garfield in the next two.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” producers are Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Jon Watts directs from a screenplay by a trio of credited writing teams — Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley, Jon Watts & Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers. The film is also opening in about 60% of the international marketplace this weekend.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is the only major release opening this weekend. Illumination-Universal’s “Despicable Me 3” should come in second with at least $30 million in its second weekend, followed by Sony’s second frame of “Baby Driver” at around $15 million and Warner Bros.’ sixth weekend of “Wonder Woman” with about $10 million.
“Wonder Woman” grossed $2 million on Thursday to lift its 35-day domestic total to a dazzling $358.7 million. Online ticketing service Fandango said Thursday that advance tickets sales for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” were ahead of “Wonder Woman” at the same point in their sale cycles.