Sony-Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is flying high — heading for at least $100 million in its opening weekend at 4,348 North American locations, early estimates showed Friday.
If the number holds, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” will join “Beauty and the Beast,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” and “Wonder Woman” as the fourth 2017 title to launch to more than $100 million domestically.
Box office trackers had forecast an opening weekend ranging from $85 million to $110 million, but first-day business lifted those to the $115 million-plus range. Studio estimates stood at $80 million to $90 million, but were upgraded to near $100 million.
The tentpole stars Tom Holland as the titular 15-year-old Spider-Man. The superhero strives to become worthy of holding the title of Avenger, under the skeptical guidance of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark.
Friday grosses for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” should top $40 million, which includes Thursday night previews with $15.4 million at 3,493 North American sites — 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.
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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.
That’s a welcome development for the overall domestic business, which has been lagging last year’s total due to a disappointing second quarter. As of July 5, 2017’s cumulative North American grosses had hit $5.827 billion — down 0.5% from the same point a year ago, according to comScore. Summer season grosses have been dragged down 8% this year to $2.07 billion as “The Mummy,” “Baywatch,” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” flopped.
“What ‘Wonder Woman’ did for early June, Spidey hopes to do for early July and with the summer running some 8% behind last year, we need a box office superhero to save the day and get the summer numbers heading in the right direction,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.
“Tom Holland’s perfect casting as Peter Parker/Spider-Man (whose introduction over a year ago in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ set off a social media frenzy), great early reviews, and strong early exit polling is fueling what is expected to be one of the biggest debuts of the summer,” he added.
The movie has also consistently dominated social media in recent weeks, aided by a clever marketing campaign that plays on Holland’s teenage angst. 2007’s “Spider-Man 3” had the largest opening of any of Sony’s five Spider-Man films, with $151.1 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’s” 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 debuting this weekend. Illumination-Universal’s “Despicable Me 3” should come in second with as much as $39 million in its second weekend, followed by Sony’s second frame of “Baby Driver” at around $11 million and Warner Bros.’ sixth weekend of “Wonder Woman” with about $10 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.