Homecoming swung into theaters in China yesterday, with the hopes that the web-slinger can pull the marketplace out of a minor slump for movies not titled Wolf Warrior 2. Spidey has a mixed record in China, with The Amazing Spider-Man earning just $48 million in 2012 while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 earned $94.4m in 2014.
The property is one that has played in China from the beginning, with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man becoming the first Hollywood superhero movie to play there with a then-solid $4.9m in the summer of 2002. Spider-Man 2 earned $6.1m two years later but Spider-Man 3 earned $18.9m in 2007, which was right around the time that China was starting to show its might as an international powerhouse.
The film has already earned $748 million worldwide, with a likely overseas total of over/under $760m absent this final mega-market. So unless it drops dead after today, the latest installment of one of the more recognizable/popular Hollywood brands in said market is going to score big, big enough to propel the film past $800m and potentially flirt with $850m-$875m worldwide by the time it wraps up. Heck, it might (emphasis on “might”) be over $800m by the end of the weekend. The Jon Watts-directed reboot, which is also part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which has gained a strong foothold here as well), earned a rock-solid $1.5m in Thursday previews, good for the fourth-biggest MCU preview behind Iron Man 3, Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It followed that up with a terrific $22.2 million opening day (counting online ticketing fees), just above the $21m opening day of Iron Man 3 and below only Captain America: Civil War ($30m) and Avengers: Age of Ultron among MCU debuts. The film earned a “normal” 6% of its first day via Thursday previews. That’s about in line with Fox’s Logan (not part of the MCU, but still relevant) or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and thus far less frontloaded than Captain America: Civil War ($2.6m/$30.4m). If the Tom Holland/Michael Keaton/Robert Downey Jr./Marisa Tomei action comedy plays like a conventional MCU movie, we’re looking at an opening weekend of around $60m-$70m. And it then plays like a relatively recent MCU movie from this point onward, we’re looking at a total of $125m-$150m in China.
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This is obviously a bit speculative, but a $120 million Chinese total for Spider-Man: Homecoming would push the film’s global cume to around $880m, or about on par with Spectre two years ago. And, among Spidey movies, it would be well above the $821m gross of Spider-Man in 2002 and the $784m gross of Spider-Man 2 in 2004, but just under the $891m global cume of Spider-Man 3 from 2007. Yes, yes, inflation and 3D bumps absolutely apply, but that’s still damn impressive. It’ll be Sony’s third or fourth-biggest biggest worldwide hit ever (depending on if it catches Spider-Man 2), behind Spider-Man 3 and Skyfall ($1 billion in 2012 and sans 3D). And if it goes the distance, we may (emphasis on “may”) be looking at a $900m+ worldwide total for the $175m reboot.
Not only will it leapfrog past Wonder Woman ’s over/under $815 million cume on the global charts (thus becoming the biggest non-sequel/origin story superhero movie of all time), but it is already now the biggest worldwide gross for a straight reboot ever. With around $770m worldwide as of today, it has already displaced The Amazing Spider-Man ($757 million) after long ago passing the likes of Casino Royale ($599m), Man of Steel ($668m) and Star Trek ($385m).
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the biggest-grossing straight reboot (even adjusted for inflation) in North America with $325 million thus far. And as of today, it’s the biggest such offering worldwide as well. No, I’m not counting Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves ($165 million in 1991/$349m today) as a reboot, but if you want to, there you go. Now we’ll have to see if how high it can swing over the next few weeks.