Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 isn’t a good movie. It’s about as bad a superhero movie as we are bound to see. And yet, those involved in the film are still able to say that it is a successful movie… to a certain extent.
Topher Grace – the absolute WORST choice to play brooding psychopath Eddie Brock in Raimi’s Spider-Man sequel – was doing press for the controversial drama Truth when he decided to bend the truth a little in his old film’s favor. Asked about Spider-Man 3, Grace took the financial high road, telling THR:
I know the movie did well for Sony, but I also know a lot of people weren't happy with it. I think Sam is so talented. … He was like the president of a small country — by the way, [Spider-Man 3] had the gross national income of a small country, too. I have huge respect for him. I think, on a whole, he did such a fantastic job [on that trilogy]."
And he’s right. Sam Raimi’s third Spider-Man movie banked $336 million domestically, and totaled an impressive $890M worldwide. BoxOfficeMojo tells you that it’s the third-highest-grossing film in the Spider-Man series, besting both of Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man efforts… despite the fact that the abysmal creative performance of Raimi’s third movie led to the need for a Webb reboot in the first place.
However, no one is going to argue that Spider-Man 3 is a good film, and Grace begrudgingly admits that when he offers that a lot of people "weren’t happy" with the way that the movie turned out. It goes beyond the too-many-villains complaint that’s lobbed at Spider-Man 3 (though trying to cram Venom into a movie that already had Sandman and a second Goblin did reek of overkill). Something happened in between the second and third Spider-Man movies where Raimi lost his grip on the character of Peter Parker (played by Tobey Maguire for his final time). The director didn’t know how to grow and mature Peter. He grossly mishandled Gwen Stacy in the film, and obviously botched Venom because he didn’t care about him as a villain. But it’s the tone-deaf comedy in Spider-Man 3 that’ll always have me scratching my head. Because Spider-Man is a funny hero, but this sequel is anything but humorous.
Spider-Man gets another shot at silver-screen redemption when Marvel teams with Sony for a reboot starring Tom Holland as the wall-crawler. That movie hits theaters on July 28, 2017. Are you going to give it a shot?