This is the year that the Superhero Genre turned a serious corner. One movie (Logan) is a legitimate contender for year-end awards. Another movie (Wonder Woman) reset a struggling cinematic universe and provided hope for a disappointed fanbase. And we have two more major comic-book movies to come in Thor: Ragarok and the wildly anticipated Justice League. But while a lot has been made about Wonder Woman's monumental success at the box office, another movie recently topped it for the highest global ticket seller in 2017, and that is Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Opening in China provided a significant boost for Jon Watts' Spider-Man adventure, the first Spidey movie set in the sprawling MCU. And after a slower than expected start, Spider-Man: Homecoming steadily built on its global take to push its overall cume to $874.3M, against the $863M earned by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the $820M earned by Wonder Woman.
The bigger story might be the inability of any of these superhero movies to top the $1 billion mark, when films like The Dark Knight and its sequel, the two Avengers movies, and Captain America: Civil War all managed to surpass the impressive box-office benchmark. These days, superhero audiences have seen a lot, so you really have to bring something unique and special to the table to sell tickets. Truthfully, I think Justice League could do just that. But it has to be good, because Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873M globally) proved that just putting DC heroes together on screen isn't enough to guarantee the crowds will flock.
Back to Spider-Man: Homecoming for a moment. We were paying close attention to how this movie would perform after two swings and misses by Sony with the Andrew Garfield-led Amazing Spider-Man films. The chant that was heard of "Give Spidey Back To Marvel" meant very little if Marvel ALSO couldn't produce a movie that lived up to expectation at the box office. And early on, Homecoming was hovering in the same realm as the Amazing movies. Domestically, Homecoming still sits behind Sony's first three Spider-Man films. But globally, it's now the second highest grossing Spidey flick, according to BoxOfficeMojo, behind only Spider-Man 3 -- the worst Spider-Man movie in the bunch. Go figure that one out.