On Screen China: Spider-Man Swoops to the Rescue

Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into China in the nick of time this weekend and looks to pull the country’s ice-cold box office out of peril.

On Wednesday, the Chinese box office hit its lowest daily total in more than three months.

While September is often the slowest moviegoing month on the calendar following the lucrative summer season and students’ return to school, several releases over the last two weekends — ValerianDunkirkCars 3, Baby Driver — had great opportunities to take advantage of the pent up demand for imported films accumulated after six weeks of a domestic blackout, yet all failed to connect meaningfully with audiences.

Luckily, Spider-Man heard the call, and although he’s two months late arriving in China, Spidey will waste no time this weekend pulling the country’s box office out of peril.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (蜘蛛侠:英雄归来)

China Distribution: China Film Co., Ltd (中国电影股份有限公司)
US Distribution: Sony Pictures Releasing

History of Spider-Man Releases in China

Film (Year)

Gross (RMB)

Gross (USD)

Yearly Rank

Spider-Man (2002)¥41M$5.0M#5
Spider-Man 2 (2004)¥52M$6.3M#7
Spider-Man 3 (2007)¥150M$19.7M#4
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)¥314M$49.7M#14
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)¥585M$94.4M#12
Captain America: Civil War (2016)¥1.246B$180.8M#8

Spider-Man was the first ever Hollywood superhero to grace Chinese screens when Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man opened in summer 2002, placing fifth on the yearly box office charts with a then-hefty $5.0 million in ticket sales. Fifteen years and three Peter Parkers later, all six films featuring Spidey — including last year’s Captain America: Civil War which introduced audiences to Tom Holland as the teenaged web-slinger — have been released in China and consistently performed strongly at the box office.

Homecoming, the first solo Spider-Man adventure released by Sony Pictures and produced in conjunction with Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios, has the added benefit of belonging to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, perhaps the most recognizable Hollywood brand in China and the most profitable franchise ever to hit the country’s cineplexes.

Throw in Robert Downey Jr’s as Parker’s reluctant mentor Tony Stark/Iron Man, a Chinese favorite, and a marketing blitz targeting students to coincide with the back-to-school season, and Spider-Man: Homecoming will easily surpass Logan (RMB 730M/$106M) to become this year’s top-grossing superhero film.

CFI expects an opening weekend in the realm of RMB 350-400M ($60-$65M) and depending on word of mouth, a final tally around RMB 800M ($125M).


Spider-Man: Homecoming pulled in an estimated RMB 9.8 million ($1.5 million) from Thursday midnight screenings, the fourth largest midnight tally in the MCU behind Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and Iron Man 3.