Financial Wrap-Up: Spider-Man: Homecoming

August 16, 2017

Author: Gus Baker

By the Numbers
Now that Marvel’s latest superhero blockbuster/franchise launcher Spider-Man: Homecoming has nearly completed its theatrical run we can begin to examine the film’s financial success. Critically the film has done quite well; Rotten Tomatoes reports a critic score of 92%, the second highest score for a Spider-Man film behind Sam Raimi’s Spider Man 2 (2004), which boasts an impressive 94%. Audiences have also rated the film favorably; Rotten Tomatoes reports an audience score of 90%, while IMDB users have rated the film at an average of 7.9/10.

As we all know, critical success does not always translate to financial success. Five and a half weeks after Homecoming’s release, everyone’s favorite web-slinger has hauled in 307.2 million domestically and 395.6 million internationally for a worldwide take of $702.8 million (Box Office Mojo). This comes against a production budget of 175 million (Box Office Mojo) and a marketing budget of 140 million (Heroic Hollywood) for a total production cost of 315 million. On the surface a net profit just shy of $250 million* seems like a financial success. However, when one compares these numbers to other contemporary superhero films, specifically Sony’s recent Amazing Spider-Man films, the numbers are rather disappointing.

Franchise Fatigue?
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) was released with a production budget of ~215 million and worldwide gross of 757.9 million (Box Office Mojo). The similarity between the profit margins of Homecoming and The Amazing Spider-Man suggest that Marvel didn’t improve much on Sony’s franchise pilot. When comparing Homecoming’s numbers to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a financial disappointment that ended the Sony franchise, the outlook for the success of the series looks rather bleak. The Amazing Spider Man-2 ended its run with a worldwide gross of 709 million (Box Office Mojo), higher than that of Homecoming, but was sunk by its exorbitant 473 million dollar budget ($293 million dollar production budget, 180 million dollar marketing). So while profits margins for Spider-Man: Homecoming are certainly higher than those of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it drew fewer viewers and generated less overall ticket revenue despite being released five-years later. These numbers suggest that franchise fatigue may have set in among the superhero fan base.
The relative successes of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and DC’s Wonder Woman, both released within months of Homecoming, also point to Spidey fatigue. Perhaps Marvel should have given its viewers a few more years to get the bad taste left by The Amazing Spider-Man out of our mouths before rushing the character back into the spotlight.

Footnotes and Updates
*accounts for an estimated 20% cost for distribution (All numbers are in units of millions of dollars) 702.8 x .2 = 562.24, 562.24-315 = 247.24

Update: Spider-Man: Homecoming ended its run with a worldwide gross of 747.2 million (Box Office Mojo), surpassing that of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

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