Before it swings into domestic play and hits the bulk of overseas next week, Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home will begin weaving its international box office web in China, Japan and Hong Kong this weekend. Both China and Japan are leading markets for the character, with the industry seeing a start around $90M across the three debut hubs. There is give on either side depending on how things go down in the Middle Kingdom.
Although pre-sales in China were, somewhat confoundingly, lower compared to Spider-Man: Homecoming, the Far From Home midnights that kicked in tonight local time are promising at $3.2M, the 4th best score for a superhero movie. It is possible Spidey overall in this early session moves into the $100M neighborhood.
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In the same group of markets that are going this frame, and at today’s exchange rates, previous entry Homecoming did $76.6M when it launched two years ago. The ante is upped this time around given this is the first Marvel title since Avengers: Endgame, and Far From Home is expected to outperform Homecoming.
But the swing this weekend will be China which has been trickier than usual in recent weeks. Far From Home has been looking at anywhere from $75M-$85M, per conservative estimates. It could certainly notch higher, but we are still waiting on Middle Kingdom social scores for the Jon Watts-directed installment. Far From Home is likely to benefit from a lack of competition after Chinese title Better Days was abruptly yanked off its date this week, and with next weekend not expected to throw up any major roadblocks now that The Eight Hundred has been decommissioned.
Homecoming, which is the natural comp, debuted in China in 2017, about two months after the majority of the world, and made $67M in its first weekend at today’s rates. The Middle Kingdom final was $116.3M (unadjusted). As for Japan, the previous Tom Holland-starrer opened to $7.2M in today’s dollars, with a $25M finish.
Far From Home differs from the pattern on Homecoming as it snared an early China date. And, while Japan would typically come later in the run, Sony is leaning into a good window before Toy Story 4 and local anime Weathering With You, from the team behind smash Your Name, hit theaters.
China was the biggest overseas market on Homecoming as well as the previous two Spider-Man movies. It is also the top MCU hub with Endgame having taken in a staggering $629M there to become the highest-grossing import ever. Far From Home picks up following the events of Endgame as Spidey must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Samuel L Jackson, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon and Cobie Smulders also star.
All of the Spider-Man films have released in China, going back to 2002 with the subsequent sequels growing apace with the market. The five-year gap between Sam Raimi’s 2007 entry and Marc Webb’s 2012 The Amazing Spider-Man made for exponential increases. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 then nearly doubled its predecessor with an over $94M cume (non-restated), and Homecoming topped that.
At the time of Homecoming’s China release, it scored the then-3rd best debut for all superhero films in the market and was Sony’s top opening-day result ever with $21.6M. It also, for a time, held the title of highest-grossing solo superhero film there.
Another thing the Spider-Man character brings to the MCU party is that he over-indexes in Japan. Marvel does well in that market, but the webbed wonder particularly excels. Japan has consistently been in the Top 5 markets on the past four live-action Spider-Man movies. While this weekend may come in lower than Homecoming‘s opening, Japan is a slow-burn.
Holland has made the rounds of UK chat shows, notably making headlines for what some deemed an overshare on The Graham Norton Show where he appeared recently with Gyllenhaal. The pair, along with Watts, also were in Beijing earlier this month for a nationally covered fan event and press conference. Holland and Watts also participated in an immersive afternoon with YouTube channel Ychina, learning how to make dumplings among other cultural experiences.
In Japan, there’s an opening night countdown to the first screening with a takeover of all screens at Toho Sinjuku, the highest-grossing cinema in the market. Talent has not been to the market, but local star Kentaro Ito was appointed as ambassador for the movie and has made numerous appearances on NTV to heavily promote FFH and was involved in coverage of the LA premiere along with veteran Japanese actor Naoto Takenaka who has voiced Nick Fury in all Avengers movies. A Spider-Man stuntman also toured Japan, appearing on major TV shows including a surprise wire stunt on a popular Saturday night variety show.
The rest of rollout overseas begins Monday in Australia with all markets, including domestic but excluding Italy, climbing in throughout the week.
Far From Home is presented by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel Studios/Pascal Pictures. Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers wrote the script. Producers are Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal.
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