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Spider-Man: Homecoming had a huge opening weekend at the box office

Sony changed its Spider-Man. There are now $117 million reasons why this was the right call. 

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Spider-Man has found his home sweet home.

Spider-Man: Homecoming opened with an estimated $117 million at the domestic box office this weekend. It’s a confidence boost for a film studio that has struggled to achieve success in bringing the legendary Marvel character to the big screen.

After Sony’s Tobey Maguire-starring Spider-Man films fizzled out, ending with 2007’s Spider-Man 3, the studio wasted little time in rebooting them. The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield, launched in 2012; it opened to $62 million domestically, going on to gross $262 domestically and nearly $758 million worldwide.

Its sequel, 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, opened to $91.6 million domestically, going on to gross $202.8 million domestically and nearly $709 million worldwide. But even though The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had a bigger opening weekend than its predecessor, Sony considered the film a disappointment because of its lower worldwide total. Sequels are generally expected to make more money than the original.

That disappointment not only caused Sony to cancel its plans for an Amazing Spider-Man 3, but to seek out a new actor to play the web-slinger. The studio also struck a landmark deal with Marvel Studios that would allow Spider-Man to appear in a Marvel film, even though Sony owns the film rights to the character. Spider-Man: Homecoming — a co-production between Sony and Marvel, starring Tom Holland as Spidey — is the result. And Homecoming’s $117 million opening weekend seems to indicate that partnering with Marvel and casting Holland were both excellent decisions on Sony’s part, decisions that might finally get Spider-Man’s cinematic legacy back on track.

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