Spider-Man: Far from Home has quietly managed to accomplish a major box office milestone. Over the weekend, the sequel overtook Captain Marvel, very narrowly, to become the third biggest movie of 2019. This normally would be viewed as a win/win for Marvel, but given the recent split between Sony and Disney when it comes to future entries in the Spider-Man franchise, the implications of this feel particularly magnified.
According to the most recent box office numbers available, Spider-Man: Far From Home has now earned $1,128,276,196 worldwide, narrowly overtaking Captain Marvel, which earned $1,128,274,794 worldwide during its run earlier this year. Both Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers appeared in this year’s third Marvel Cinematic Universe offering, Avengers: Endgame, which went on to become the highest-grossing movie ever with a massive $2.79 billion take. The second-biggest movie of the year also belongs to Disney with The Lion King, which currently stands at $1.61 billion globally.
The major takeaway, looking at the numbers laid out like this, is that the MCU is still easily the strongest brand in all of entertainment. Disney is in control of the biggest box office brands right now, with their live-action remakes, Pixar and Star Wars on the roster, aside from Marvel. As such, Sony didn’t want to relinquish more control when it comes to the future of Spider-Man. Given what they accomplished with Venom and Into the Spider-Verse, they have reason to believe they can take Tom Holland’s version of Peter Parker and have success outside of the MCU, without having to share the profits with Disney.
In terms of raw numbers, Spider-Man: Far From Home did manage to overtake Captain Marvel, but the situation is complex. The movie was heavily rooted in the MCU and serves as something of an epilogue to the events of Avengers: Endgame. Will moviegoers be as interested in a third movie in this series that must divorce itself from the MCU? Marvel Studios will more than likely be okay and will undoubtedly continue to string together hit after hit, with the speed bump of having to explain away Peter Parker’s existence in that universe. For Sony, the gamble is much larger.
The plan, it seems, is to fold Spider-Man into the same universe as Tom Hardy’s Venom. Sony will assemble its own shared universe in the hopes that Tom Holland’s beloved take on Peter Parker can still be a huge draw, even outside of the MCU. The numbers here make it crystal clear that audiences are very eager to see more of this character. Now, it’s up to Sony to not fumble the ball. Either way, given the success of the Homecoming sequel, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out over the next couple of years.