‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Box Office: Why Tom Holland’s Latest Adventure Triumphed

Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” might not have saved the summer from box office doldrums, but its successful start lifted the spirits of a movie business that was in a depressive state.

The superhero adventure, starring Tom Holland as the masked web-slinger, opened ahead of the July 4th holiday and collected a mighty $185 million during its first six-days in North American theaters. Overseas, the latest Marvel blockbuster continued its rollout at the international box office with $395 million in ticket sales to date, putting “Spider-Man: Far From Home” at $580 million worldwide, just shy of the $600 million mark after 10 days of release.

“It’s not all gloom and doom,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore. “This is an emotional boost for the industry, even if we’re playing catchup on the year to date deficit.”

Indeed, a number of underperforming franchises, remakes and spinoffs have ticket sales down 8% behind last year, according to Comscore. Here are a few reasons why “Spider-Man: Far From Home” beat the sequel slump that’s plaguing most of Hollywood.

It’s a good movie

Quality remains the best recipe. As blockbuster-hopefuls like “Men in Black: International,” “Shaft” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” failed to meet expectations, there’s one main reason “Spider-Man: Far From Home” was able to drive audiences to theaters en masse: It’s a good movie. Audiences have never had more options for entertainment, so it takes something special to get moviegoers off their couch when they could easily stay home to watch the latest season of “Stranger Things.” The latest Spidey adventure proved to be just that, as critics and audiences alike praised “Spider-Man: Far From Home” for setting up the next phase of Marvel heroes.

The follow-up to “Avengers: Endgame”

It doesn’t hurt that Sony positioned “Spider-Man: Far From Home” as the must-see aftermath to a little film called “Avengers: Endgame.” With $2.77 billion in global ticket sales, it seems like just about every person on the planet went to bid farewell to Tony Stark in the epic blockbuster finale, and comic-book enthusiasts were eager to see what would come of Iron Man’s protege, Peter Parker. It also helps that Disney, in its bid to beat “Avatar” as the biggest movie of all time, drummed up fervor with a theatrical re-release of “Avengers: Endgame” a week earlier. Its return to multiplexes included a sneak preview of “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” which proved enough to whet the appetite of Marvel superfans.

Marvel is still immune to franchise fatigue 

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” isn’t the only movie this summer to debunk the notion of franchise fatigue, but Marvel still remains the gold standard when it comes to sequels and spinoffs. It’s worth noting in a year where things at the box office are looking bleak, three of the top five biggest movies through the first six months of 2019 are from the Marvel Cinematic Universe: “Avengers: Endgame,” “Captain Marvel” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” That’s a track record even the most beloved properties couldn’t compete with. It’s one that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been able to uphold by churning out standalone adventures and superhero mashups that consistently meet or exceed the high standards of ticket buyers. Even though a combination of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have graced the big screen within months of each other, audiences are willing to return to their local multiplex to see the Avengers next adventures.

“They have the interconnectivity of these worlds that ensures a loyal and fervent audience,” Dergarabedian said. “That’s money in the bank for Marvel.”

Audiences love Tom Holland

Marvel fans can’t get enough of Holland’s boyish charm. His adoration among the superhero community is one that’s especially impressive considering the 23-year-old is the third actor to don the spandex suit in the last two decades. But Holland has proved himself to be just as much a fanboy as everyone else, and his tendency to accidentally reveal major spoilers is one of many reasons he’s beloved by audiences of all ages. The high-school antics of Peter Parker and his pals helps “Spider-Man: Far From Home” win over an even younger audience, with almost 60% of opening weekend crowds under the age of 25.

“There’s just something perfect about Tom Holland right now,” Dergarabedian said. “Not since Robert Downey Jr., in my opinion, has a superhero character been so perfectly inhabited by an actor. He brings a real freshness to the role.”

Plus, Holland’s chemistry with MJ (played by an equally charming Zendaya) is enough to set their combined 20 million-plus social media followers ablaze.

Timing is everything

After a lackluster June at the domestic box office, the exhibition industry was ripe for a hit. Sony opened “Spider-Man: Far From Home” on a Tuesday, allowing buzz to build ahead of the July 4th holiday weekend. The blockbusters debuted two weeks after Disney’s “Toy Story 4” and two weeks ahead of Disney’s “The Lion King,” giving just enough time between tentpoles for moviegoers to make multiple trips to the theater this summer.

More Film

  • Nina Wu Midi Z Un Certain

    Chinese Indie and Indian Films Dominate Pingyao Festival Lineup

    Chinese indie and Indian films dominate the lineup of the Pingyao International Film Festival. The main selection for the festival’s third edition will include 28 world premieres, organizers revealed on Monday. The event will screen 52 films from 26 countries and territories, with all of them having their China debut. The opening film is set [...]

  • 'Sound of Metal' Review: Riz Ahmed

    Toronto Film Review: 'Sound of Metal'

    “Sound of Metal” is a film with a potent, searing hook. It stars Riz Ahmed, who is such a sensational actor (just watch him in “Jason Bourne” or “Nightcrawler” or “The Sisters Brothers”), as Ruben, a punk-metal drummer, heavy on the tattoos and peroxide, who has been thrashing away as part of a caterwauling noise [...]

  • David Goodman

    WGA West's David Goodman on Agency Strategy: 'We'll Start Meeting as Soon as Possible'

    David Goodman, who was resoundingly re-elected president of the Writers Guild of America West on Monday, said the guild plans to meet with several talent agencies soon in an effort to ease the impasse over packaging fees and affiliated production. “Many agencies had indicated that they wanted to wait to see the results of the [...]

  • Australian Outback

    Legend Media Seeks Trio of West Australia-China Co-Productions (EXCLUSIVE)

    Perth, Australia-based production company Legend Media is preparing a slate of three feature films to be produced with partners in China. The company styles itself as one that recognizes the opportunities for Asian engagement that have fallen to Australia, through geography, trade and culture. The company aims to make use of the bilateral film co-production [...]

  • David Goodman

    David Goodman Re-Elected President of Writers Guild of America West

    David Goodman has been convincingly re-elected to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America West, beating Phyllis Nagy in a bitter contest that became a referendum on the guild’s ongoing battle with talent agents. Goodman received 4,395 votes to Nagy’s 1,282 in an election that yielded record turnout among the WGA [...]

  • Issa Rae Portrait

    Issa Rae Developing Re-Imagining of Crime Thriller 'Set It Off'

    “Insecure” star and co-creator Issa Rae is in early development on a re-imagining of New Line’s crime thriller “Set If Off,” which starred Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise. Rae will produce with plans to star in the project. Syreeta Singleton and Nina Gloster have been hired to pen the script. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content