Superheroes were once again around to save the day as Spider-Man: Far From Home ignited a much-needed boost in the domestic box office. The web-slinging adventure easily dominated in North America, delivering a US$185 million (S$251 million) debut from 4,636 venues during its first six days in theatres.
But even your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man isn't immune to a little sequel slump. Spider-Man: Far From Home got a head start by opening on the Tuesday ahead of Independence Day, but it collected US$93 million over the traditional three-day weekend. That's a stellar start to be sure, but a drop from the US$117 million debut of its predecessor, 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming. However, the July 4th weekend isn't a traditionally busy time for moviegoing.
Spider-Man: Far From Home set a number of records this week, including the biggest Tuesday ticket sales of all time (US$38 million), best Wednesday grosses for a Marvel movie (US$27 million) and the second-largest Fourth of July holiday (US$25 million). It also marks Sony Pictures' biggest six-day opening weekend ever.
Overseas, the 23rd movie in Marvel's Cinematic Universe earned US$395 million, boosting its global tally to a mighty US$580 million (S$789 million) after 10 days. The superhero tentpole is performing ahead of fellow comic-book universe titles Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Homecoming at the same point in their release cycles.
Boosted by solid reviews, Spider-Man: Far From Home also benefited as the must-see followup to the epic finale that was Avengers: Endgame. Younger males accounted for most of opening weekend audiences. Boys and men comprising 60 per cent of crowds, while 58 per cent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25.
Spider-Man: Far From Home, which carries a US$160 million price tag, picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame and sees Peter Parker (Holland) on a class trip to Europe. While overseas, he is reluctantly enlisted by Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to help take down threats from an alternate dimension. Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau and Marisa Tomei all returned for the sequel.
Also opening this weekend was A24's Midsommar, director Ari Aster's sophomore feature. The R-rated folk horror film nabbed sixth place on box office charts, generating US$6 million over the weekend and US$10.9 million during its first five days of release. Midsommar received mostly positive reviews, though audiences seemed more divided. The movie, about a group of friends who travel to Sweden for a festival, has a mediocre C+ CinemaScore.
While in line with studio projections, Midsommar's debut is roughly half of what Aster's first film Hereditary made in its inaugural weekend. Hereditary launched with US$13 million last June and is still A24's highest-grossing movie to date with US$44 million in North America and US$79 million globally.
Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 4 slid to second place with US$34 million in ticket sales during its third outing, bringing its domestic tally to a massive US$306 million.
In third, Universal's Beatles tribute Yesterday earned another US$10 million for a North American haul of US$36 million. Warner Bros' Annabelle Comes Home added US$9.5 million this weekend, taking box office receipts to US$50 million.
Rounding out the top five is Disney's Aladdin, which added US$7 million in its seventh weekend in theatres. The live-action remake has generated US$320 million in North America.