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Spidey's latest outing sets some box office records ...
SUPERHEROES were once again around to save the day as Spider-Man: Far From Home ignited a much-needed boost in the North American box office.
The web-slinging adventurer easily dominated ticket sales over the weekend, delivering a US$185 million debut from 4,636 venues from its first six days in theatres.
But even your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is not immune to a little sequel slump. Spider-Man: Far From Home got a head start by opening on the Tuesday ahead of the Independence Day holiday in the US on July 4, but it collected US$93 million over the traditional three-day weekend. That's a stellar start to be sure, but a drop from the US$117 million debut of its predecessor, 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming.
However, the July 4 weekend is also not a traditionally busy time for movie-going.
Spider-Man: Far From Home set a number of records this week, including biggest Tuesday ticket sales of all time (US$38 million), best Wednesday grosses for a Marvel movie (US$27 million) and the second-largest July 4 holiday (US$25 million). It also marks Sony Pictures' biggest six-day opening weekend ever.
Overseas, the 23rd movie in Marvel's Cinematic Universe earned US$395 million, boosting its global tally to a mighty US$580 million after just 10 days.
The superhero tentpole is performing ahead of fellow comic-book universe titles Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Homecoming at the same point in their release cycles.
Boosted by solid reviews, Spider-Man: Far From Home also benefited as the must-see followup to the epic finale that was Avengers: Endgame.
Younger males accounted for most of opening weekend audiences. Boys and men comprised 60 per cent of crowds, and 58 per cent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25.
Spider-Man: Far From Home, which carries a US$160 million price tag, picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, and puts Peter Parker (Holland) on a class trip to Europe.
While overseas, he is reluctantly enlisted by Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to help take down threats from an alternate dimension. Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau and Marisa Tomei all returned for the sequel.
Also opening this weekend was A24's Midsommar, director Ari Aster's sophomore feature. The R-rated folk horror film nabbed sixth place on box office charts, generating US$6 million over the weekend and US$10.9 million in its first five days of release.
The film received mostly-positive reviews, though audiences seemed more divided. The movie, about a group of friends who travel to Sweden for a festival, has a mediocre C+ CinemaScore.
While in line with studio projections, Midsommar's debut is roughly half of what Aster's first film, Hereditary, made in its inaugural weekend.
Hereditary launched with US$13 million last June and is still A24's highest-grossing movie to date, with US$44 million in North America and US$79 million globally.
Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 4 slid to second place with US$34 million in ticket sales for its fourth outing, bringing its domestic tally to a massive US$306 million.
In third, Universal's Beatles tribute Yesterday earned another US$10 million for a North American haul of US$36 million.
Warner Bros' horror flick Annabelle Comes Home added US$9.5 million this weekend, taking box office receipts to US$50 million.
Rounding out the top five is Disney's Aladdin, which added US$7 million in its seventh weekend in cinemas. The live-action remake has already generated US$320 million in North America alone. REUTERS