Hello, Summer Getaway! ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ exceeds all expectations in the first shows

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony) raked in $17.35 million on Thursday shows starting at 2 p.m. That’s $150,000 less than the previews of “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3” (Disney) made four weeks ago, on its way to a $118.4 weekend getaway.

That’s a huge leap from 2018’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” In a very different setting (evening-only shows on a dead Thursday in mid-December), it grossed $3.5 million before an astonishing finish initial week of $35.4 million.

These results place the “Spider-Verse” second to see a potentially bigger weekend than “Guardians.” Many schools are now closed for the summer holidays, increasing Friday’s potential audience. And while it doesn’t get as high a percentage of viewers opting for premium screens, Sony controls many of them.

That level of accomplishment would be a welcome surprise. Prior to improved tracking last weekend, the industry consensus was $60 million – $70 million opening. Even after seeing a surge in interest, the guess was still under $90 million.

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Several factors elevate “Spider-Verse”:

— The first film was critically acclaimed, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and grossing an astonishing $194 million in its Christmas 2018 release;

– “Spider-Man: No Way Home” remains the biggest domestic hit since 2019, and this is the next film from that Marvel subset;

– The new film is receiving rave reviews (86 points on Metacritic, rarely seen for a studio release);

— Comes on the heels of the unexpectedly huge animation hit “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Universal), which is now over $560 million domestically (the biggest of 2023 so far). ‘SMB’ has shown considerable adult interest in an animated film, and is one with less obvious appeal than ‘Spider-Verse’.

Hello Summer Getaway Spider Man Across the Spider Verse exceeds all | SoxGame.info
“Spider-Man: There’s No Going Home” sony

Add this: While business has been erratic, May’s top three releases (“Guardians,” “Fast X,” and “The Little Mermaid”) have all performed to or near expectations—nothing groundbreaking, but enough interest from the public to give hope for the summer. But with none expected to hit $400 million domestic (an accomplishment marked by two May releases of last year), there’s a gap left to fill. “No Way Home”, “Top Gun: Maverick”, “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “SMB” show when the audience is excited, the potential is there.

Maybe “Spider-Verse” is the hero movie theaters are looking for. That’s a great start (note: “SMB” with its Wednesday opening skipped previews, so there’s no comparison). This is one week after last year’s “Maverick,” which jumped to $709 million thanks to tremendous word-of-mouth. It built enough theatrical goodwill to boost the entire summer. If “Spider-Verse” can do the same thing, it will be a definite boon to a summer season that so far falls short of last year’s.