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Can ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Rescue Lagging Summer Box Office?

After a spell of underperforming sequels, Tom Holland’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is swinging by to hopefully salvage the box office.

Spider-Man: Far From Home,” from Sony’s arsenal of Marvel characters, should prove an exception to a summer otherwise plagued with a contagious case of franchise fatigue. The 23rd superhero adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is expected to earn $125 million from 4,500 theaters during its first six days in theaters. It’s getting a jump on the weekend, opening on Tuesday ahead of the July 4th holiday. Independence Day isn’t traditionally a busy time for moviegoing as audiences opt to spend the holiday outside to grill and watch fireworks.

Overall, the domestic box office is pacing almost 10% behind last year, according to Comscore. The season has been particularly unkind to sequels and spinoffs like “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “Dark Phoenix” and “Men in Black: International,” all of which saw diminishing returns.

Not all revisits have gotten the cold shoulder. Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” enjoyed series-best box office receipts, and audiences have been high on “Toy Story 4.” The upcoming Spidey sequel, positioned as the must-see follow-up to the epic finale of “Avengers: Endgame,” looks to be in the company of this summer’s well-regarded tentpoles and should provide the domestic box office with a solid boost heading into July.

Spider-Man: Far From Homekicked off at the international box office in China, Japan and Hong Kong last weekend, generating $111 million. It saw the strongest start in the Middle Kingdom, where it earned a huge $98 million. The superhero adventure will open in the rest of the world this weekend, save for Italy.

Critics have praised the latest web-slinging adventure (It holds a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes) — not that superhero enthusiasts would have been fazed by bad reviews anyway. If estimates hold, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” will be only the fourth movie this year to score a triple digit debut and should get a leg up on the $117 million launch of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the first Holland-led standalone. That film ended its box office run with $334 million in North America and $880 million globally.

“Spider-Man: Far From Home,” which carries a $160 million price tag, picks up after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” and sees Peter Parker (Holland) on a class trip to Europe. While overseas, he is reluctantly enlisted by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to help take down threats from an alternate dimension. Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau and Marisa Tomei all returned for the sequel.

On Wednesday, A24’s “Midsommar” will join “Spider-Man: Far From Home” on movie theater marquees. Director Ari Aster’s follow-up to “Hereditary” should collect $8 million to $10 million over the five-day stretch. The folk horror film, starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor and William Jackson Harper, follows a group of friends who travel to Sweden for a festival that occurs once every 90 years.

Midsommar” has generated relatively positive reviews. Variety’s Andrew Barker called it “an admirably strange, thematically muddled curiosity from a talented filmmaker who allows his ambitions to outpace his execution.”

Aster’s “Hereditary” debuted with $13 million last June, and went on to become A24’s highest-grossing movie with $44 million at the domestic box office and $79 million worldwide.

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