With Wonder Woman still rocketing along toward the $380-$400mil range, the only film that could conceivably harm its box office totals this summer is the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. I set out to do the math and see: what might this new Spidey flick make?
Box office predictions aren’t a science. For comic book movies, only two reporters seem interested in trying to make a guess: me, and Scott Mendelson from Forbes. We also have totally different styles of prediction. He takes multipliers and looks at similar film trajectories to give a set of different-scenario ranges. I sit down for six hours and do the math by hand, calculating averages and taking the numbers as more realistic than anything else. It’s served me well for Wonder Woman, but since I don’t have averages yet for Spider-Man: Homecoming, I had to do something a little different.
For Spider-Man: Homecoming, I decided first to take a look at all previous Spider-Man movies and what their domestic comes and gross percentages were. I found that every Spidey movie made at least $200mil domestically and $700mil total. The average made $315mil in the U.S. and $792mil worldwide, and these mean averages kind of lowball it due to the underperformance of The Amazing Spider Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
I did some more averaging, then took the average of those averages. Only considering Spider-Man numbers, my guess for Spider-Man: Homecoming is this: a cume of between $313mil and $336mil domestically, and between $783mil and $818mil worldwide.
Then, I decided to consider, mathematically, the effect the presence of Tony Stark would have on the film. Tony is, literally, the golden goose of the MCU franchise — films including Tony do better than films that don’t.
The mean average of domestic grosses for MCU movies including Tony Stark is $421.7mil, and the worldwide average gross is $1.1billion. That’s an increase of 37.3% over the domestic average for an MCU flick, and a 49% boost over the worldwide average.
As tired as some fans may be of Iron Man, Marvel has a very good business reason for including him in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Looking at the statistical data, I have to calculate that the best case scenario would be a 37.3% boost over the $336mil number from before, which would come to a domestic cume of $461. Worldwide, the number would be a 49% boost over $818mil, coming to $1.22bill in total.
These numbers don’t seem physically possible, and would put Spider-Man: Homecoming as the third most domestically profitable superhero flick of all time, beating out everything except The Dark Knight and The Avengers. Do I think that’s going to happen? No, not really. Action films starring white guys have underperformed this summer, and Spider-Man films have had a run of relatively poor luck since 2012.
The film is getting excellent reviews, however, and will likely get a boost from the diversity of its supporting cast; Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad‘s box office success stories are directly tied to how they’re not dominated by white dudes in the way that previous superhero genre flicks have been. While this Spidey is still a white kid, his love interest, friend group, and rival are all people of color, which will draw, in turn, audiences of color.
Realistically, I’d lowball and say that the film will probably make a touch less than the Sam Raimi Spider-Man, teetering at the same level as Wonder Woman or a little bit below, though, considering the fact that most Spider-Man movies make most of their money abroad, Spider-Man: Homecoming will likely have a bigger worldwide gross than Wonder Woman.
Overall, though, the numbers and odds are positive for Spider-Man: Homecoming to be one of the biggest superhero releases ever, and I’m curious to see how it all plays out.