“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Sony’s animated superhero film, kicked off the holiday season release slate by webslinging its way to $3.5 million in Thursday box office previews. The film previewed on 3,321 locations ahead of opening on approximately 3,800 screens this weekend.
Sony is projecting a $30 million opening weekend for “Into the Spider-Verse” behind a $90 million budget, with independent trackers saying it could climb as high as $35 million.
“Into the Spider-Verse” opens opposite “The Mule,” the Clint Eastwood-starring and directed crime vehicle from Warner Bros., and “Mortal Engines,” a post-apocalyptic epic from producer Peter Jackson at Universal.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. In comparison, “The Lego Batman Movie,” which Lord and Miller also worked on, earned $2.2 million in its Thursday previews when it opened in February 2017 to a total of $53 million.
“Into the Spider-Verse” tells the story of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a Puerto Rican and African American teen who becomes a new Spider-Man and must take down the evil Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) with the aid of another Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) and other Spider-Men from alternate dimensions. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman direct the film with a script by Phil Lord. Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Nicolas Cage and Lily Tomlin co-star.
The film boasts an impressive 99 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes as one of the better-reviewed films of the year. Despite the potential fatigue from Spider-Man films with “Venom” being released in October, Sony is hoping that “Spider-Verse” will have a long life at the box office and experience a jump at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.
“Mortal Engines,” directed by Christian Rivers and produced by Peter Jackson, earned $675,000 in Thursday previews from 2,600 screens. It will open on approximately 3,100 screens this weekend.
Universal is projecting just a $10 million opening for the action/fantasy film with a reported $100 million budget. The film is based on a YA novel by Philip Reeve and is set in a post-apocalyptic world where cities ride across the planet on wheels, consuming other cities and towns in order to survive. Hera Hilmar stars with Robert Sheehan and Hugo Weaving. It has a 30 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Mule” is projected for a $20 million open while sporting a 64 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Eastwood’s “The Mule” is notable as the first Eastwood starring role since “Trouble with the Curve” since 2012, and it also reunites him with Bradley Cooper, who starred in his massive box office hit “American Sniper.” Earlier this February, Eastwood’s “The 15:17 to Paris” earned $12 million in its opening weekend. Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” in 2008, also opened in limited release in December before expanding in January, and it earned $29 million upon opening wide.
“The Mule” stars Eastwood as a broke Korean war veteran who takes a job as a delivery man, only to discover that he’s been transporting millions of dollars worth of cocaine.