‘Spider-Man’ makes impressive global debut, outperforms Bollywood releases in India
New Delhi: Marvel’s latest superhero film Spider-Man: Homecoming made a spectacular box office debut last week, opening to more than $257 million worldwide, according to trade website Box Office Mojo.
Of this, about $117 million were made in the US, where it released across 4,348 theatres. Without adjusting for inflation, that makes for Sony Pictures’s, distributors of the film, second-highest opening weekend ever in the country, after Spider-Man 3 that earned $151 million in 2007.
In India too, the Jon Watts-directed film has done well, making more than the combined box office collections of the local releases. It netted about Rs30 crore until Sunday with paid previews starting Thursday across 1,400 screens. The Tom Holland-starrer has beaten the two Hindi releases of the week by a wide margin, Sridevi-starrer Mom that made about Rs14.40 crore across 1,260 screens (only in its Hindi version) and Paresh Rawal’s comedy Guest iin London that netted Rs8 crore across 700 screens.
“The film has definitely benefited from excellent reviews, some of the best in recent times,” said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema. “And despite so many instalments (the film is the second reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise and the 16th of the Marvel Cinematic Universe), at no point does it feel unnecessarily stretched.”
The superhero flick that consistently dominated international social media in the run-up to the release had a clutch of brands and media and promotional partners on board in India, besides getting Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff to voice for lead star Holland, a move that, Mohan says, instantly helped reach out to children and younger audiences Shroff is known to be extremely popular with.
There is much else that sets this instalment apart in the Spider-Man franchise. The children-friendly narrative sees Holland play a high-school version of Peter Parker, who is only 15 years of age and has to prove himself worthy of being an Avenger.
“The film’s novelty is that Spider-Man, though he’s been enshrined by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) as an Avengers apprentice, barely has a handle on how to harness his powers, or what to do with them. To a degree, the film’s novelty works, though with a qualifier: This Peter is such a normal, awkward dude that he’s a touch innocuous—the closest the Marvel Universe has come to giving us a superhero who wouldn’t look out of place on the Disney Channel,” said a Variety magazine review.
“It is a very entertaining film, a lot of the stuff inherent to the original franchise has been retained,” said film trade and business expert Girish Johar, adding that franchise films, particularly the Spider-Man series, have always done well in India. For instance, Captain America: Civil War made Rs59.50 crore in 2016, while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 managed Rs41.70 crore over its opening weekend itself in 2014.
Mohan who estimates a Rs50-55 crore first week for the superhero film says the only other threat to its business should come from Jagga Jasoos, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, that releases this Friday and is also a children’s film.
“Most schools, at least in the metro cities, are closed for summer vacations this week. Since other releases are barely bringing any returns, Spider-Man is bound to be the favourite,” he said.