Sony is calling the 6-day opening of Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home at $185M which reps a record for a 6-day Independence Day launch and the Culver City studio’s best opening over that number of days. Both records were previously held by Sony’s 2004 Spider-Man 2 which made $180M over the July 4th 6-day stretch. Industry estimates for Far From Home are around $184.5M at 4,634 theaters, still excellent. 10-day global for Far From Home is an amazing $580M. By the way, remember we said Far From Home would get to at least $170M when it hit tracking? The possibility of of that comes from other beloved mega franchises like Transformers, Spider-Man and Despicable Me‘s July 4th box office history and the halo effect from Avengers: Endgame. Those were self-fulfilling prophecies here for Far From Home. CinemaScore was a solid A, the same as Spider-Man: Homecoming. Under 35 gave the movie an A+.
Far From Home posted its second best day yesterday during the course of its run with $34M after Tuesday’s opening record of $39.2M. Saturday was 5% up from Friday’s $32.5M. Far From Home‘s 3-day is at $93.1M which in terms of FSS that played around the July 4th holiday is the second-best behind 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon with $97.8M.
Sony strategically moved Far From Home from its July 5th opening to July 2 in order to gain some power heading into the Independence Day holiday which can sometimes be unforgiving to titles. It was a great holiday this year with Far From Home’s $25.1M being the second best July 4th ever after Transformers‘ $29M in 2007. Also, Sony gave Far From Home a 17-day window before Disney’s Lion King in which it will have all the premium ticketing formats like Imax (which earned the best ever opening for a Sony pic at $15M at 414 screens), Dolby, and PLF. The latter delivered 15.4% of Far From Home‘s ticket sales over the last six days.
Did the 7.1 Ridgecrest, CA earthquake impact weekend business? In short, no. While Far From Home slightly under-indexed in LA, it wasn’t so dramatic that we could point to audiences’ shivering from the shock of this weekend’s tremors. In fact the West and the South performed strong for Spidey even though he was muscular all over the country. Total weekend ticket sales for all movies per ComScore grossed $185.8M, -2% from a year ago.
In regards to Far From Home‘s spots and media plays, the studio surrounded Women’s World Cup with custom spots featuring prolific USA Women’s World Cup team members, highlighting challenges “far from home.” They partnered with ESPN to create a comedic spot in which Tom Holland has an accidental luggage mix-up with NBA player Donovan ‘Spida’ Mitchell.
Sony also tapped into the power of Disney by creating various pieces that lived across Disney’s array of TV and Digital properties. One piece featured the Far From Home cast surprising fans at California Adventure. The other featured the cast at an Italian restaurant talking about the movie and the making of. Nickelodeon created a custom Orange Carpet spot in which the film’s cast surprised kids in a movie theater and do an informal Q&A. NBCU celebrated service members who go “far from home” by creating a special Spider-Man experience and screening for them. The spot aired across multiple NBCU networks. Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal hosted a 3-night stunt in which they took over programming on the Discovery Channel. There was also a blitz across BET Awards followed by sponsorship of VEVO’s BET Awards Winners package. In addition, there was a custom Telemundo vignette featuring Betty and Nico from the show ‘Betty En NY.’ Betty recounts her trip to Europe where Spider-Man came to the rescue to defend against elemental creatures.
Some digital/mobile promotional sponsors including WAZE which served up Spider-Man Branded Pins that popped up and reminded people to get tickets when they approach a nearby cinema. Spotify offered users a sponsored listening session so they could enjoy ad free music brought to them by Far From Home. There was a Spider-Man Alexa Skill which offered travel tips, phrase of the day, jokes, and trivia presented by the voice of Alexa and the pic’s talent.
There was a Global SnapChat lens with the social network’s newest technology Landmarker AR. Sony built an AR experience tagged to four landmarks around the world: Grauman’s Chinese Theater (Los Angeles), Flatiron Building (New York), Buckingham Palace (London), Eiffel tower (Paris). At each location, fans will see Spider-Man and Mysterio swing and flying around the landmark. Also, with the Snapchat Global Face Lens users were able to take selfie’s with Spider-Man in locations from the movie, including Queens, Venice, London and Berlin. Natch, there was a PlayStation Partnership that included the sequel’s integration into the Marvel Spider-Man PlayStation Video Game.
Other stunts included an Empire State Building Lighting & Ceremony (with Holland, Zendaya & Jacob Batalon), Far From Home screenings at military bases, a Samuel L. Jackson presenter spot at NBA Awards, and the LAFC Youth Group Mentorship Day. LAFC player Christian Ramirez visited children at the Hank Lacayo Youth & Family Center to teach them soccer tricks, and gave away Spider-Man swag.
The other title to brave the shadows of Far From Home was A24’s Midsommar, the second feature directed by Ari Aster. The pic made $6.5M in 6th place over the last 3 days and $10.9M since its Wednesday opening. Though a few nickels ahead of tracking it’s not a mindblowing opening for a pic that cost under $10M. Exhibitors aren’t forgiving when it comes to films that haven’t performed at the summer box office, and will easily hand over auditorium inventory to the next tentpole bride, and unfortunately Midsommar performed on the coasts and softer then average everywhere else. It’s a big-city film. Trailers were fiercely cool and original–a break-up story set against the upside down world of a gross Swedish Midsummer festival. A24 employed largely a thrifty social and digital media push, but RelishMix wasn’t impressed with the 33M+ social media universe count across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Other horror films have reached an SMU of 82.1M. The pic is more suspense than horror, but was clearly sold as a horror film. Nonetheless as is typical with arthouse-horror hybrids, it’s a divide between genre-philes and critics, the latter who embraced the film at 82% fresh and the former who dismissed it with a C+ CinemaScore. Aster’s Hereditary without a July 4th holiday did better with $17.2M and it also wasn’t a film that critics and audiences saw eye-to-eye with respective grades of 89% certified fresh on RT and a D+ CinemaScore. Hereditary did a 3.25x multiple off its opening for a final $44M stateside result. Many argue that the cinema needs original movies; that’s what the box office needs, right? Well, here’s Midsommar. But it was challenged by a horror sequel in the market, Annabelle 3 which made $9.7M in weekend 2 (and a great -52% hold, and $50.1M 12-day tally), plus the Aster pic has a 2 hour 27 minute running time.