Coming into the weekend, everyone knew that “Spider-Man: Far From Home” was going to win the domestic box office crown for a second frame. Sure, there were some wide releases debuting, but the latest ‘Spider-Man’ film is riding incredible buzz and strong reviews and was never poised for a “Dark Phoenix”-esque plummet. And a strong hold is exactly what we saw.
Adding another $45.3 million to its domestic total in its second full weekend, ‘Far From Home’ easily won the weekend and padded it’s already incredible box office total. Domestically, the film currently stands at a whopping $274 million, which already eclipses the total for both ‘Amazing’ films and last year’s ‘Into the Spider-verse.” And if this weekend’s -51%* hold shows that word-of-mouth is strong going into the weeks to come, the latest MCU film is poised to become the first film to challenge the Raimi trilogy for box office supremacy.
(*Granted, this weekend’s great hold was largely in part to the film opening mid-week last week, so there’s clearly an effect, but still, it’s a good hold.)
The worldwide total for “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is where this film’s box office power truly shines. At the end of this weekend, the new sequel has already earned $847 million globally. At this point, it’s all but assured ‘Far From Home’ will be the highest grossing ‘Spider-Man’ film of all time, besting “Spider-Man 3” and its $890 million worldwide gross. And yes, it’s quite clear that Marvel Studios is going to have yet another $1 billion-grossing film, which will be the superhero studio’s 9th overall and 5th just in the last 18 months.
Let’s take a look at that last stat for a second. Since “Black Panther” hit theaters in February 2018, Marvel Studios has released 6 films. Of those 6 movies, 5 of them are likely to cross $1 billion. And if you add the worldwide totals of all 6 films, you’ll arrive at a cume of $8.771 billion in 18 months. As far as major franchises go, that total is over $2 billion more than the entire Fox ‘X-Men’ franchise. It’s almost $3.9 billion more than the entire ‘Batman’ franchise. And only less than $1 billion below the entire “Star Wars” franchise. Keep in mind, that’s just the last 6 MCU films!
(Side note — If you care about such things, “Avengers: Endgame” is still creeping up to “Avatar” and now sits at a worldwide gross of $2.780. This means the film is only $8 million-ish behind James Cameron’s film. But again, that’s a big $8 million.)
As for the two newbies this weekend, the alligators in “Crawl” beat the combined forces of Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista. Coming in at #3, “Crawl” earned a respectable $12 million in its opening weekend. This is actually great news, as the film only cost a reported $13.5 million and basically had zero marketing. The real shame is that Paramount obviously didn’t have a ton of faith in the film, as the studio held it back from critics until the weekend. Shame on the studio because “Crawl” currently sits at a solid 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, showing that Paramount could have leveraged these incredible reviews for strong buzz. Alas, that’s not to be. Audiences really responded well to the horror/thriller, giving “Crawl” a ‘B’ CinemaScore. Again, for this type of film, anything above a ‘C’ is great.
On the other hand, “Stuber” just couldn’t stack up in any of the above categories. The action/buddy comedy film earned a measly $8 million in its opening weekend. Despite having Nanjiani, who is coming off his critically-acclaimed comedy “The Big Sick,” and Bautista starring in two of the biggest films of all-time (“Avengers: Infinity War” and ‘Endgame’), “Stuber” just sputtered in its first three days. The film has terrible reviews, with a 45% on Rotten Tomatoes. And on the CinemaScore front, audiences gave the comedy a ‘B.’ However, when you look at comedies, anything below a ‘B+’ is generally a sign that audiences are just meh on the film.
Ultimately, both of these films are going to struggle to stay relevant in the weeks to come, but perhaps “Crawl” will be able to ride the wave of positive buzz and turn into a little hit for Paramount.
Speaking of little hits, the limited release films struck gold this weekend, led by Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell.” The family dramedy, which has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes earned 2019’s best Per Theater Average with $87,833 PTA in only 4 locations. This is clearly a sign that A24 has the potential for a crossover hit with this Awkwafina-starring film. We’ll have to see how “The Farewell” does when it begins expanding in the weeks to come.
Opening in only 7 theaters, “The Art of Self-Defense” also did pretty well, scoring a 17,286 PTA. Not a terrible start for the comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg. This film also was a hit with critics, earning a great 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. And finally, Lynn Shelton’s “Sword of Trust” arrived in two theaters, and it pulled in a PTA of $11,256. However, for this film, the future is unknown because “Sword of Trust” expands in more cities next weekend, but also arrives On Demand and Digital, which will likely take away from the theaters.
Next weekend is going to be one to watch out for with Disney releasing “The Lion King.” Despite the strong buzz earlier in the year, reviews have been mediocre (to say the least), with a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course, “The Lion King” is likely going to be a critic-proof film and won’t suffer too much from those reviews. However, if audiences begin questioning the film’s reason for existing (which is largely the critics’ biggest complaint), we could be looking at an intriguing box office prospect.
Here’s the entire domestic Top 10 for July 12 to July 14:
1. Spider-Man: Far From Home – $45.3M ($274M Overall)
2. Toy Story 4 – $20.7M ($346M)
3. Crawl – $12M (Debut)
4. Stuber – $8M (Debut)
5. Yesterday – $6.75M ($48M)
6. Aladdin – $5.87M ($331M)
7. Annabelle Comes Home – $5.6M ($61M)
8. Midsommar – $3.6M ($18.4M)
9. The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $3.1M ($147M)
10. Men In Black: International – $2.2M ($76M)