‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ sets a couple box office records

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It’s no surprise that the Spider-Man: Homecoming opening weekend put Marvel’s famous web-slinger at the top of the box office, but the superhero’s first solo adventure still managed to exceed expectations.

Estimates suggest that Sony Pictures’ landmark deal with Marvel Studios that brought Spider-Man into the latter’s cinematic universe was a bet that paid off well — to the tune of $117 million over the film’s three-day premiere. Not only is that the second-biggest opening weekend of all time for a Sony Pictures film after 2007’s $151.1 million premiere for Spider-Man 3, but it’s also a bigger opening weekend than the debut film for any solo superhero in Marvel’s cinematic universe.

Box-office pundits initially had Homecoming pegged for an opening weekend somewhere in the $80 million range, but a flood of positive reviews from professional critics (the film currently has a 93-percent approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com) and great audience buzz from early screenings (resulting in an “A” grade on CinemaScore) appear to have given it the extra push it needed to swing past that early mark.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Spider-Man: Homecoming $117M $117M $257M
2. Despicable Me 3 $33.9M $149.1M $447.5M
3. Baby Driver $12.7M $56.8M $70.8M
4. Wonder Woman $10.1M $368.7M $745.7M
5. Transformers: The Last Knight $6.3M $118.9M $494.6M
6. Cars 3 $5.6M $133.7M $193.7M
7. The House $4.8M $18.6M $24M
8. The Big Sick $3.6M $6.9M $6.9M
9. 47 Meters Down $2.8M $38.5M $38.5M
10. The Beguiled $2M $7.4M $8.2M

In other box-office news, the success of director Edgar Wright’s car-chase crime musical Baby Driver last week doesn’t appear to have been a fluke. The film added an additional $12.7 million its second weekend in theaters — a drop of only 38 percent from its opening weekend. For a film that cost just $34 million to make, the movie appears to be well on its way to finally giving Wright that bona fide box-office hit he’s been missing.

Also noteworthy is the appearance of indie romantic comedy The Big Sick among the weekend’s top ten films. After adding an additional 255 theaters to its run and earning rave reviews from critics (as evidenced by its 97-percent approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com), the film pulled in more than $11,000 per theater and appears to gaining some steam among mainstream audiences.

This upcoming week’s biggest release is War For the Planet of the Apes, the third installment of the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, and it’s likely to give Spider-Man: Homecoming a challenge at the box office. The previous installment of the series, 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, turned a $72.6 million premiere into $710.6 million worldwide by the end of its run, so Sony’s (and Marvel’s) wall-crawler has his work cut out for him.

The only other mainstream release hitting theaters this week is the horror film Wish Upon, about a teenager who discovers the horrible cost of the wishes she’s been granted by a mysterious box. It isn’t expected to challenge the top movies, but with a price tag of just $12 million, the movie doesn’t need to break any records to turn a profit.