Entertainment

Can 'Spider-Man' save the slumping summer box office?

'Far From Home' projected to make $125M opening

(CNN) - "Spider-Man: Far From Home," is projected to make $125 million at the North American box office over its six day holiday opening, according to Sony, which co-produced the superhero film with Marvel Studios.

If that windfall materializes, it would be good news because the summer movie season is in desperate need of a hero. June was a particularly rough month at the domestic box office. Multiple sequels, including "Men In Black: International" and "Dark Phoenix," underperformed. Even "Toy Story 4," which opened to $121 million two weeks ago, couldn't match Disney's high box office expectations.

The lackluster summer has dragged down 2019's overall domestic box office revenue by roughly 9% from the same point last year, according to Comscore.

So will our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man succumb to an anemic summer box office as well? Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, doesn't think so.

"Strong reviews, Marvel's goodwill, and Tom Holland's popularity as Spider-Man will obviously be major factors again, but this is ultimately Spider-Man -- one of the most popular icons of comic book lore and blockbuster cinema over the past two decades," Robbins said.

"Far From Home" could do well at the box office this weekend because it's a sequel to "Spider-Man: Homecoming," which made more than $880 million in 2017. It's also the follow up to "Avengers: Endgame," which shattered box office records in April.

Robbins believes the huge blockbuster success of "Endgame" could lead to a sizable box office bump for "Far From Home" this weekend.

"The direct lead-in and fallout from 'Endgame's emotional conclusion is a massive benefit," Robbins said. "Spider-Man's appeal reaches a wide variety of moviegoers, and fans are excited to see where his story goes during life after the Avengers."

The Spider-Man franchise has made more than $5 billion at the global box office since 2002. The animated "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" won Best Animated Feature Film at the Academy Awards earlier this year.

"Far From Home," which cost $160 million to make, is also a big hit with critics, holding a 93% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes. The film could serve as a reminder to "audiences of what worthy sequels can be," according to Robbins. He says that could help rejuvenate the summer's ticket sales.

"Ultimately, good movies can beget more movie-going," he said.

The film is already a hit at the international box office. It opened to $111 million in China, Japan and Hong Kong this past weekend. Of that total, $98 million is from China, the world's second largest movie market.

Yet, even if "Far From Home" suffers at the ticket booth, there's still time for the summer box office to heat up with two potentially huge films on the docket.

Disney's reboot of the "The Lion King," which includes the voice work of Beyoncé and Donald Glover, opens July 19 and Universal's "Fast and Furious" spinoff, "Hobbs & Shaw," which stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham, opens August 2.


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