How high can “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” climb?
The sequel to 2018’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is getting a lift from good buzz and residual fondness for its predecessor, one of the inaugural cinematic forays into all things multiverse. And while reviews are still embargoed, critics flipped for the first one, so assuming the follow-up sticks the landing, the notices could propel “Across the Spider-Verse” ever higher. But it’s a crowded marketplace and five years has passed since audiences were first introduced to Miles Morales and a wide web of Spider-People. Plus, there’s been an ever expanding array of superhero films and streaming shows to turn to, increasing the competition for moviegoers who like their heroes costumed and masked.
That said, tracking suggests that “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” should have no trouble swinging to the top of box office charts when it opens in wide release on June 2. Initial projections have “Across the Spider-Verse” bowing to $80 million. That’s a big leap forward from the $35.4 million that “Into the Spider-Verse’ debuted with when it launching in theaters. But rival studios and exhibitors believe the sequel has a chance of opening to $90 million or even higher. To hit or eclipse that mark, “Across the Spider-Verse” will need to broaden its appeal, not only attracting teenagers and adults under the age of 40, but also bringing in families.
It also may depend on how well “The Little Mermaid,” which topped the Memorial Day box office with $117.5 million over the four-day holiday and $95.4 million for the weekend, holds. The Disney remake of the animated classic is looking for a sophomore weekend of roughly $40 million, which would represent a drop of just under 60%. If it over-performs that could make it harder for the Spidey sequel to draw younger crowds.
Sony Pictures produced “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” for $100 million, which is relatively economical considering that many major studio animated movies cost double that figure. The film is directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson and follows Miles as he teams up with his lady love Gwen Stacy try to save his Spider brethren from a super-villain called the Spot. Shameik Moore returns to voice Miles along with Hailee Steinfeld once again portraying Gwen. The cast also includes Brian Tyree Henry, Issa Rae, Jason Schwartzman, Daniel Kaluuya and Oscar Isaac.
“Across the Spider-Verse” isn’t the only new major studio release. Disney’s 20th Century Studios will look to frighten horror fans with “The Boogeyman,” an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story of the same name. The movie was originally slated to debut on Hulu, but the studio was impressed enough by the footage to change things up and re-conceive “The Boogeyman” as a theatrical proposition — hey, it worked for “Smile!” The film centers on a father who works as a therapist but finds himself unable to help his daughters deal with the recent death of their mother. But things get dicier when a desperate patient shows up unexpectedly at the family’s house asking for help, bringing with him a terrifying and sinister force. Rob Savage (“Host”) directs the $35 million production with a cast that includes “Yellowjackets” star Sophie Thatcher and Chris Messina. “The Boogeyman” is on track to open to $15 million, a respectable result for the modestly budgeted movie.