Box Office: Marvel & Sony’s SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING takes spectacular $117M!

Following the runaway success of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, Marvel now has its second major box office triumph of 2017 with SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. Jon Watts‘ reboot of the franchise, following Sam Raimi’s trilogy and Marc Webb’s diptych, is estimated to gross $117 million by the end of Sunday in domestic theaters. There’s even a chance that the latest take on the famed web-slinger could give WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES a run for its money next weekend.

It unseats DESPICABLE ME 3, which will come in at number two with $33.9 million. Illumination’s animated hit has been doing very well domestically and has also premiered in China to the biggest recorded opening for an animated film in the history of the country’s box office. And though DM 3 has made its bones domestically in comparison to, say, THE MUMMY or TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, which came in at number five this week with $6.3 million, it underlines a trend in major American studios to rely on foreign box office to justify continuing franchises that American audiences have lost interest in for all intents and purposes. In another world, THE LAST KNIGHT would signal to Paramount that TRANSFORMERS is on its last legs and that the next one, if there really must be another installment, should be the last. The only reason to move forward on the half-dozen or so movies they have planned is to reap profits from overseas. Otherwise, they would be economically unsound.

Of course, an audience is an audience and the tickets sold to foreign moviegoers is just as good as their American counterparts, but it’s not like they will stop releasing these movies in America. Nor will we likely see a surge in popular foreign films getting wider releases in American cinemas. The success of movies like BABY DRIVER, which came in at number three with $12.7 million, might suggest to producers and studios that movies with genuine personality, when backed by a bigger marketing campaign and not just word-of-mouth, can make serious money. History says that this is unlikely but when one looks at the melding of arcane franchise politics and creative audacity in WONDER WOMAN, holding in fourth place in its sixth frame with $10.1 million, it’s entirely possible to find a modicum of hope.

Here’s your top five for the weekend:

1. ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ $117,015,000 $117,015,000
2. ‘Despicable Me 3’ $33,998,875 $149,189,535
3. ‘Baby Driver’ $12,750,000 $56,883,072
4. ‘Wonder Woman’ $10,135,000 $368,786,191
5. ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ $6,300,000