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'Spider Man's' European vacation set to defy summer box office doldrums

Everyone’s favorite teenage wall crawler is back.

This time, Spider Man is looking to capitalize on the July 4 holiday. Box office watchers are expecting super-heroic returns that may help reverse this summer’s trend of underperforming big-budget movies.

Sony Pictures (SNE) and Marvel Studios’ (DIS) “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sends Tom Holland’s Spider-Man on a European vacation. Taking place after the universe-shattering events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Spider-Man is forced to team up with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Mysterio, a character played by veteran actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

But if there is one issue that Spider-Man does not have to worry about, it’s cleaning up at the box office— yet again.

Industry sources expect “Far From Home” to gross $125 million during its six-day opening. So far, the movie is off to a strong start, with its debut showings pulling in around $40 million — a Tuesday opening day record.

“Getting a jump on the Fourth of July stateside will help the film's business spread out across the week,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst for Boxoffice.com.

Meanwhile, the pending re-release of “Endgame” is helping to reignite interest in Spider-Man , and Avengers-related films.

“The re-release of “Endgame” may be the most perfect lead-in for any Marvel movie ever,” added Paul Dergarabedian, sr. media analyst for Comscore.

Spider-Man’s battles ugly summer doldrums

The summer 2019 has seen its struggles at the box office, with a host of tentpole movies falling short of expectations. “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” for example, has lost over $100 million.

Separately, Sony’s other most notable blockbuster of the summer, “Men in Black: International,” has grossed barely over $186 million worldwide on a $110 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo.

(l to r) Numan Acar, Tom Holland and Jacky Gyllenhaal in Sony/Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man: Far From Home."
(l to r) Numan Acar, Tom Holland and Jacky Gyllenhaal in Sony/Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man: Far From Home."

Spider-Man’s biggest helping hand may come from the fact that he has no real box office competition in the coming week, and the residual wave that tends to boost Avengers-related movies.

“Spidey will have very few roadblocks to worry about. Toy Story 4 will cater to a younger audience going into its third frame, and the next biggest competitor—’The Lion King’ —will still be more than two weeks away,” Robbins said.

Jeremy Conrad, a media influencer and founder of the website MCU Cosmic, added that “many of the movies immediately following an Avengers [film] have seen an “Avengers bump,” like “Iron Man 3”— which got a mixed reception from fans and critics alike, but still topped $1 billion at the box office.

“Far From Home is directly impacted by Endgame, so coming after that movie should help it a lot,” Conrad said.

Both “Ant Man” movies benefited modestly from the Avenger boost, earning a relatively modest $519 million worldwide for the first “Ant Man” and over $622 million worldwide for “Ant Man and The Wasp.”

Spider-Man has performed well at the box office historically. The highest earning film is 2007’s “Spider-Man 3,” which grossed over $890 million worldwide.

Then came 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the first solo outing for Tom Holland in the MCU. It is now the second highest grossing film within the franchise, earning over $880 million worldwide.

The lowest box office earner is “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” at just over $709 million worldwide— still an impressive feat.

The franchise has been rebooted twice but shows no signs of wear, something analysts attribute to the relatability of the main character.

“People love Spider-Man because everyone can see themselves in him, and relate to him,” Conrad said.

Boxoffice.com’s Robbins stated that “his best stories are often ones that have him face the challenges of being an ordinary kid or young adult while having to balance the responsibilities of being a superhero.”

He added: “That vulnerability and his inherent wit make him endearing to a large audience, and he has one of the deepest benches of complex villains for Marvel to pull from in future film narratives.”

Donovan Russo is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @Donovanxrusso.

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