Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Film ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ and ‘Past Lives’: The Portrait of a Healthy and Happy Box Office

‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ and ‘Past Lives’: The Portrait of a Healthy and Happy Box Office

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ (Sony) is the first movie this summer to exceed expectations and not a moment too soon, as the season total lags behind 2022. At 120.5 million dollars, Sony’s Marvel animated sequel grossed 60% of its 2018 original. That’s double what advance tracking indicated just over a week ago.

One reason was the outstanding critical response, with a score of 87 on Metacritic standing out as the best for a studio release since ‘Little Women’ in December 2019. It came out the same day as ‘Past Lives’ (A24), which has a record year-best Metacritic score of 92 and now represents the highest per-theater specialized average of over $58,000, grossing $232,266 at four New York/Los Angeles theaters.

“Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3” and “The Little Mermaid” saw respectable debuts that didn’t quite reach the heights of their predecessors, but “Spider-Verse” had further advantages.

The original “Spider-Verse” was a surprise hit in 2018. It faced uncertainty about how Marvel would translate into animation, but the result was a domestic gross of just under $200 million, about the double the expectations. It opened on a normally dead mid-December weekend to $35 million, sustained a strong run during the holidays, and won the Academy Award for Animated Feature.

Since then, 2021’s ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ has become the highest-grossing domestic release since 2019. Taking into account the strong reviews coupled with the goodwill of the first film, and the only surprising thing become the early showings bottom of the movie.

“Barbie”screenshots/Warner Bros.

It suggests an enthusiastic audience for a critically acclaimed film that promises an entertaining experience. (The former isn’t a necessity — see: “Super Mario Bros.” — but it can help.) If this formula holds true, there’s cause for optimism in highly anticipated upcoming titles like “Barbie,” “The Flash,” and ” Mission : Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part 1.

“Spider-Verse” kicks off with an additional $88 million in foreign gross, for $208.6 million worldwide. Key territories Japan, China and South Korea have yet to be opened. It would take a very strong grip for this to get anywhere near $1 billion, especially amid potentially intense summer competition. For Sony, everything is fine: with a reported production cost of 100 million dollars, the profit margin of the film is far better than “Guardians”, “Fast X” and “Mermaid”. Each of these titles cost between $200 million and $300 million+ in reported production costs, and all achieve total gross of $850 million or less.

“The Boogeyman” (Disney) also dropped, reaching number three with $12.3 million. The Fox production cost a modest $35 million. Its theatrical release suggests that Disney is downplaying streaming previews, and the gross is about $2 million better than the similar “Barbarian” last September. With great word of mouth, “Barbarian” went an impressive fourfold to reach $40 million.

Disney’s “Mermaid” in second place fell more than expected at 58% (“Aladdin” in 2019 fell 53%), but “Spider-Verse” probably played a role. The film’s biggest problem is its weak $141 million overseas showing to $186 million domestic. This may struggle to make $500 million worldwide, not the expected result for a $250 million film.

In fourth place, Disney’s “Guardians” surpassed $322 million domestic and now stands at $780 million worldwide. It’s certainly decent, but again below the $1 billion normally speculated for Marvel’s first summer release.

It beat “Fast X,” which dropped 60 percent in its third weekend. In three weeks, the latest installment in the Vin Diesel franchise (with a reported production cost of $340 million) grossed slightly more than “Spider-Verse” in three days. “Fast X”‘s overseas stands at $475 million, but the combined number of $603 million is far short of its goal.

This weekend it looks like about $204 million total. That places it just behind Easter weekend with its debut “SMB” as the best for 2023. It improves on both last year ($177 million) and 2019 ($173 million). Since the beginning of the year it has been stable at 28% compared to 2022; if sustained, it would bring in about $9.5 billion. The four-week rolling comparison to 2019 rises to 88%.

Spider Man Across the Spider Verse and Past Lives The Portrait of | ManOfTheCenturyMovie
“Past Lives”

The debut of “Past Lives” is a godsend for specialized distribution. Her placement on the platform among media’s high cheerleaders positioned him well, but you may have said the same of “The Fabelmans,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” and “TÁR;” all open to averages per theater under $50,000. A24’s “Aftersun” opened for $60,000 in four theaters.

Platform openings like this don’t guarantee the success of the crossover. A24’s “The Whale” opened to $352,000 in six; Buoyed by a holiday expansion and star Brendan Fraser’s Oscar, it surpassed $17 million.

A24 will move more slowly with a three phase expansion, reaching full scale release on June 23rd. Even $10 million would be a significant accomplishment.

Top 10

1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 87; Est. budget: 100 million dollars

$120,500,000 in theaters; PTA (average per theater): $27,939; Cumulative: $120,500,000

2. The Little Mermaid (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$40,600,000 (-58%) in 4,320 theaters (no change); PTA: $9,398; Cumulative: $186,207,000

3. The boogeyman (Disney) NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic: 56; Est. budget: 35 million dollars

$12,300,000 in 3,205 theaters; PTA: $3,838; Cumulative: $12,300,000

4. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 (Disney) Week 6; Last weekend #3

$10,200,000 (-51%) in 3,580 (-360) theaters; PTA: $2,849; Cumulative: $322,711,000

5. Fast X (Universal) Week 3; Last weekend #2

$9,240,000 (-60%) in 3,467 (-621) theaters; PTA: $2,665; Cumulative: $128,466,000

6. The Super Mario Bros Movie(Universal) Week 9; Last weekend #4; also on PVOD

$3,350,000 (-48%) in 2,344 (-804) theaters; PTA: $1,429; Cumulative: $566,277,000

7. About my father (Lionsgate) Week 2; Last weekend #6

$2,100,000 (-51%) in 2,464 theaters (no change); PTA: $852; Cumulative: $8,824,000

8. The car (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend #5

$1,750,000 (-726%) 2,409 theaters (no change); PTA: $726; Cumulative: $8,708,000

9. You hurt my feelings (A24) Week 2; Last weekend #8

$769,814 (-45%) in 912 theaters (no change); PTA: $844; Cumulative: $3,001,000

10. Candadar (Open Road/Briarcliff) Week 2; Last weekend #7

$765,000 (-67%) 1,737 (-368) theaters; PTA: $440; Cumulative: $4,237,000

Other specialized titles

Movies (limited, expansions of limited releases, as well as award-oriented) are listed by week out, starting with those open this week; after the first two weeks, only films with grossing over $5,000 are listed.

Past lives (A24) NEW – Metacritic: 94; Festivals include: Sundance, Berlin 2024

$232,266 in 4 theaters; PTA: $58,067

The roundup: no way out (Blue Fox) NEW

$200,000 in 41 theaters; PTA: $4,878

Hawk Lake (Yellow Veil) NEW – Metacritic: 67; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2022

$9,100 in 10 theaters; PTA: $910

sanctuary (Neon) Week 3

$183,000 in 225 (+215) theaters; Cumulative: $337,351

Book Club: The Next Chapter (Focus) Week 4; also on PVOD

$200,000 in 382 (-957) theaters; Cumulative: $17,070,000

blue raspberry (IFC) Week 4; also on VOD

$ (US only) 38,000 in 55 (-142) theaters; Cumulative: $1,387,000

It’s not over (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4

$30,910 in 39 (-18) theaters; Cumulative: $401,566

Knight (Searchlight) Week 7; also on PVOD

$12,000 in 70 (-15) theaters; Cumulative: $3,465,000

Somewhere in Queens (Straight along the road) Week 7

$17,190 in 23 (-9) theaters; Cumulative: $1,736,000

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