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‘Spider-Man’ vs. ‘Wonder Woman’: In the Summer Box-Office Battle, the Lady Wins

The opening weekend of "Spider-Man: Homecoming" is a victory for Sony, but it's probably not enough to beat the summer's box-office queen.

Jacob Batalon (left) and Tom Holland in Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN™: HOMECOMING.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming”

Chuck Zlotnick

Opening to $117 million, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is the second biggest opener of the summer (behind “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” $146.5 million) and third best for the year (overall gross champion “Beauty and the Beast” tops with $174 million). It’s a terrific reboot for Marvel with Sony.

However, it probably won’t be enough to make “Spider-Man” the movie of the summer. With another very strong weekend for “Wonder Woman,” Patty Jenkins’ D.C. Comics film — which had only the third best opening weekend — is the most likely the biggest summer 2017 hit in domestic grosses.

“Wonder Woman”

Clay Enos

In its sixth weekend, “Wonder Woman” placed fourth with another $10 million, bringing its total so far to just under $369 million. To hold that well when a rival comic book movie debuts is a feat in its own right.

Until recently, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” appeared likely to easily top the “Wonder Woman” total. Now through its sixth weekend, “Guardians” is at $385 million — $16 million ahead of “Wonder Woman.”

Baby Groot

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

“Wonder Woman” should have another $20 million-$30 million in its future. That should get it to at least $390 million, and a long-shot chance of $400 million.

Of course, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” can’t be ruled out. But of the previous franchise entries that opened on a Friday, their total grosses came in about 2.2 times their debut weekends. “Homecoming” should do better, but to reach $390 million it would need a 3.3 multiple — a huge increase. It also has the disadvantage of bigger competition in the coming weeks; “Wonder Woman” had the floor in June.

Need we add that it would be the first time a female-directed, live-action release was the summer’s biggest film? (“Shrek 2,” codirected by Vicky Jenson was not only the biggest summer 2004 hit, but the #1 film of the year).One of the upcoming films could exceed expectations, but $400 million or close is rarefied territory.

Despite “Homecoming,” the top 10 still came in slightly below the same weekend in 2016, when “The Secret Life of Pets” opened to $104 million.

TriStar Pictures

Sony had another strong performer with the second weekend of “Baby Driver.” Its $57 million total to date is far ahead of expectations and already the biggest domestic film for Edgar Wright. $100 million is possible.

“Despicable Me 3” (Universal) dropped a little less than “Minions” last year. It has the advantage of a clear field for the younger set though over the next few weeks.

“The Big Sick”

Two specialized films placed in the top 10. “The Big Sick” moved to #8 at only 326 theaters. Expect it to rise as it goes wide next week. Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” (Focus) fell to #10 and likely is completing its time among the leading grossers after some success.

The Top 10

1. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 73; Est. budget: $175 million

$117,015,000 in 4,348 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $26,912; Cumulative: $117,015,000

2. Despicable Me 3 (Universal) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$38,999,000 (-53%) in 4,535 theaters (+6); PTA: $7,497; Cumulative: $149,190,000

3. Baby Driver (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$12,750,000 (-38%) in 3,226 theaters (no change); PTA: $3,952; Cumulative: $56,883,000

4. Wonder Woman (Warner Bros.) Week 6; Last weekend #4

$10,135,000 (-35%) in 3,091 theaters (-313); PTA: $3,279; Cumulative: $368,786,000

5. Transformers: The Last Knight (Paramount) Week 3; Last weekend #3

$6,300,000 (-63%) in 3,241 theaters (-891); PTA: $1,944; Cumulative: $118,917,000

6. Cars 3 (Disney) Week 4; Last weekend #5

$5,636,000 (-42%) in 2,702 theaters (-874); PTA: $2,086; Cumulative: $133,733,000

7. The House (Warner Bros.) Week 2; Last weekend #6

$4,815,000 (-45%) in 3.134 theaters (no change); PTA: $1,536; Cumulative: $18,631,000

8. The Big Sick (Lionsgate) Week 3; Last weekend #12

$3,650,000 (+121%) in 326 theaters (+255); PTA: $11,196; Cumulative: $6,920,000

9. 47 Meters Down (Entertainment Studios) Week 4; Last weekend #7

$2,768,000 (-39%) in 1,740 theaters (-510); PTA: $1,591; Cumulative: $38,462,000

10. The Beguiled (Focus) Week 3; Last weekend #8

$2,086,000 (-34%) in 941 theaters (+267); PTA: $2,217; Cumulative: $7,436,000

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