The follow-up to the $2.75 billion-grossing Avengers: Endgame, Sony and Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, is opening on Tuesday stateside, and rest assured July will be off to a healthy start at the box office. Really, it will be.
Before Far From Home even flickers on a screen in the US and Canada on Tuesday, the Jon Watts-directed movie is on its way to making a near estimated $110M in China, Hong Kong, and Japan this weekend. Spider-Man is poised to have a nice hold in the Middle Kingdom into the next weekend, especially with local war epic The Eight Hundred being moved off its July 5 date.
The rest of the international begins rolling out on Monday, when Australia welcomes the webslinger. All other off-shore markets will open through Friday next week, save Italy, which goes July 10. Here in the states, Far From Home will
not have any Monday night previews –arguably a first for an MCU title– with Spidey going cold and bold with a Tuesday AM open at midnight Tuesday, Deadline has recently learned. While Avengers: Endgame played throughout the wee hours of the morning following its Thursday night launch, this is arguably the first time for a movie to start a midnight show since The Dark Knight Rises. Many in the industry have already remarked what a great domestic launch date Tuesday is: Not only is it one of the four weekdays, but Wednesday is bound to be a travel day before July 4th Thursday. Even better, Far From Home will have 17 days of play (as well as all the Imax theaters) before Disney’s The Lion King pounces and decimates more July opening records. Lion King is also one of the reasons why we’re not seeing Far From Home go after July 4 like its previous chapter, Homecoming, did. The Tom Holland-Zendaya-Jake Gyllenhaal film also has a good window overseas. South Korea, which goes Tuesday, has long-favored MCU titles, and could be a swing, as Aladdin has the market on a magic carpet ride, with over $55M through Friday and a grip on No. 1, overtaking new recruit Toy Story 4 last weekend.
Following this weekend’s flood of cash for Far From Home from three territories, the industry is seeing the sequel’s first international weekend (which is Monday-Sunday, given the offshore roll-out pattern) at $160-$170M this coming week. Again, that doesn’t include any figures from China, Japan, and Hong Kong. All-in by July 7, Far From Home could count $335M+ overseas alone, with its global tally in the first 10 days conceivably at $460M+.
Now, in regards to the US/Canada, many in distribution circles continue to be in a state of shell-shock, as tracking has over-delivered on branded IP and under-delivered at the box office; this after Toy Story 4 didn’t yield a Finding Dory or Incredibles 2-like opening, despite posting a franchise high debut of $120.9M. But, seriously, Dark Phoenix, Men in Black: International and Godzilla; King of the Monsters weren’t very well-received movies, failing to rebuild their tired IP’s image. Sony is safely projecting $125M over 6 days for Far From Home at 4,500 venues, down from the $154M they first spotted on tracking four weeks ago. Spider-Man: Homecoming earned $117M in its first 3-day for a domestic final of $334.2M, $880.1M WW two Julys ago.
As is typical, rivals and some trackers are still betting Far From Home rises to $140M-plus over six days, and there are plenty of indicators for this.
First, the movie is the last chapter of Phase 3 of the MCU, aka “Life After Avengers.” The story literally takes place following Thanos’ global apocalyptic war, and there’s a new megalomaniac, Mysterio. Critics are already going nuts for Far From Home, hugging it with a 91% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Exhibition sources inform us that pre-sales continue to be through the roof. Far From Home also has great social media metrics with a universe north of 860M, per RelishMix, and a second trailer that pumped out a historical record draw for Sony at 135.2M global views in 24 hours (paid and organic), beating the Spidey sequel’s January teaser (130M views), and the first Homecoming trailer (116 million views). Plus, there’s a ton of Independence Day 6-day box office history, which proves that openings in the $150M-$170M range are quite possible. One Thursday tracking report showed Far From Home with a first choice higher than that of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
But again, due to tracking, some remain cautious: “You can’t tell a $100M-plus opening from a $200M-plus one” gripes one studio boss about the current handicaps in box office prognostication for $100M-plus movies. While July 4 is known to be a down day at the box office, with many occupied with holiday festivities, should it rain in certain lucrative markets, then it’s a great day at the box office.
When comparing Far From Home to Homecoming abroad, that film was on a regular rollout in 60% of offshore during its opening weekend. However, what we know is that in adjusted dollars, Homecoming made $148M in like-for-like markets across the same number of days that Far From Home is opening (again, not including the Asian markets going this weekend).
Homecoming’s final box office was led offshore by China, Korea, the UK, Mexico and Japan, with $546M in unadjusted figures, repping 62% of the pic’s $880M worldwide final. Amazing Spider-Man 2 had a similar grouping of China, the UK, Korea, Japan and Mexico in front.
While the all-audience aspect of Far From Home is its strong suit in family-friendly hubs like Brazil and Mexico, Toy Story 4 can’t be discounted after blasting past projections in Latin America. Big event animated movies tend to win over families first, but the good news is that TS4 will be in its third frame in Latin America by the time Spidey swings, so that bodes well for people looking for a fresh alternative.
If Far From Home plays beyond Avengers fans, then Europe could over-perform. France did well last time around with a $19M finish on Homecoming. France has been in the throes of a phenomenal heatwave, which means movie-going is a nice alternative to beat the heat, as many multiplexes have upgraded their air-conditioning systems in recent years. That’s a vast improvement on 2003, when the last devastating Euro heatwave hit. While the temperatures should be slightly less punishing by Wednesday when Far From Home opens, the film will play into France’s annual reduced-price ticket scheme, La Fête du Cinéma.
A note about Italy, which comes into Far From Home later in July. The Italian summer is notoriously difficult to program, but the studios are making a concerted effort this year to turn that around with tentpoles dated in July. This is still a potentially risky proposition, but will be an interesting one to see played out.
In addition stateside, on July 3, A24 opens up director Ari Aster’s second feature Midsommar and, boy, does it look bananas (in a great way from the trailer). Folks and critics starving for something original, well, here it is. Pic follows a teenage guy (Jack Reynor) who holds back from breaking up his girlfriend (Florence Pugh) due to a personal tragedy in her life. This emotional build-up occurs as both head to a crazy nine-day Sweden festival with their friends. The fest only happens every 90 years, a Swedish-puritan type celebration of love and glee — with some horrific results. Pic is already 89% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes off 71 reviews. Projections are between $8M-$10M for the pic’s first 5-days, but this one will be an interesting one to watch. Aster’s Hereditary opened to $13.5M and finaled at $44M stateside.
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