Even as the world revels in excitement over Guardians of the Galaxy, Hollywood's attention is beginning to shift to the next #Marvel blockbuster: Spider-Man: Homecoming! The first solo Spider-Man film to be set within the #MCU, Homecoming promises to be a thrilling cinematic triumph. It's also a unique film, created due to an unprecedented partnership between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, so the movie is under a lot of pressure to perform well.
Box Office Pro has just released its first projections — and they're looking good! But how does this compare to Sony's previous #SpiderMan films, and to the rest of the MCU?
Here Are The Long-Term Predictions
Before you read on, you should remember that long-term box office predictions are more of an art than they are a science. The truth is, anything can change in the month-and-a-half between now and the film's release. What's more, because these predictions are made by people, they're understandably subject to error; first predictions for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 predicted an opening weekend of $160 million, and the film fell short of that by $14 million.
These predictions are more useful to give a sense of how the industry expects the film to perform, and how confident Hollywood is in the movie. And the first predictions for Spider-Man: Homecoming are the kind of news that will leave fans rejoicing!
According to Box Office Pro, Spider-Man: Homecoming is expected to gross $135 million in its first weekend in the domestic box office. They also predict it will gross a whopping $325 million over its total domestic run. If we assume Homecoming makes approximately 65% of its box office revenue internationally (true of most of Marvel's biggest films), then we're able to predict an amazing $928 million.
Comparing This To Other Spider-Man Films
Given this is the sixth Spider-Man movie in 15 years, it's worth comparing these predictions to the other Spider-Man films. And here's where Spider-Man: Homecoming becomes really exciting (note that I've sorted by domestic opening weekend, for reasons that will become clear as you read on).
As you can see, if Box Office Pro is right, then Homecoming will enjoy the second-highest opening weekend of all time. Interestingly, though, Box Office Mojo predicts that the film will fall behind the Raimi trilogy in terms of gross domestic — they clearly believe there's a level of "audience fatigue" in the US.
This is where it gets interesting, though. The box office has changed a lot since, say, 2004's Spider-Man 2, with the foreign market becoming increasingly important. That's why I'm assuming 65% of Homecoming's box office takings will come from the foreign market, against only 50.9% for Spider-Man or 52.3% for Spider-Man 2. If that's the case, then — even if domestic takings are behind the first trilogy — the film could still outperform every Spider-Man movie to date in terms of the worldwide box office.
Setting This Against The Rest Of The MCU
Here's how that would look set against the rest of the MCU. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently out in theaters, so we don't have an accurate comparison for gross domestic and worldwide.
As you can see, if Box Office Pro is right, then Marvel is on track for one of their most successful films to date. In fact, in its opening weekend alone Homecoming would gross more than the entire domestic run of 2008's The Incredible Hulk! Compare this to the other franchise launches, and Homecoming would immediately become Marvel's most successful movie to date.
A Difficult Film To Predict
At the same time, though, we have to be cautious about these predictions. There are simply too many variables in play to be too confident. On the plus side, Spider-Man is the most successful, most marketed hero in the world; what's more, Tom Holland's Spider-Man was unveiled in last year's Captain America: Civil War, and proved to be a spectacular success. This is the first solo Spider-Man movie set in the MCU, which should add a massive draw to the film, and Marvel's widely embraced this by making #RobertDowneyJr's much-loved Tony Stark a core part of the plot as well.
The problem is, Hollywood insiders are a little concerned that general interest in the brand could be lessening; after all, this is the sixth Spider-Man film in 15 years, and the second reboot. What's more, it's also the third major superhero film to release in three months. It's difficult to say how strongly these factors will play against Homecoming's success, making these predictions very preliminary indeed.
Again, I stress: these are only projections. They may make fascinating reading, and they may leave us incredibly hopeful for Homecoming's box office performance, but they really shouldn't be taken as gospel. Still, if Box Office Pro is right, then we could well be in for the most successful Spider-Man film to date. Only time will tell; it always does...