In less than two weeks, the much-anticipated sequel, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, has managed to surpass the entire box office run of its Oscar-winning predecessor, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
This feat is particularly impressive given the crowded and competitive summer movie marketplace.
Across The Spider-Verse’s Box Office Success
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Over the weekend, the comic book sequel tallied a whopping $226 million in North America and $390 million globally, setting a new record as Sony’s highest-grossing animated release in history (via Variety). In contrast, the original film, also a box office success, ended its run with $190 million in North America and $384 million globally. The sequel managed to surpass the domestic tally of the first movie in just nine days and the global total in 12 days.
Notably, despite competition from Paramount’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which debuted to $60 million and targets a similar audience of younger males, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse added $55 million in its second weekend of domestic release, a decline of only 55% from its massive $120 million debut.
Outside of the U.S. and Canada, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse has done exceedingly well. Top-earning territories for the film include China with $34.1 million, the United Kingdom with $20.3 million, Mexico with $19.9 million, and Australia with $10.9 million.
Across The Spider-Verse’s Audience and Critical Reception
The success of Across The Spider-Verse is not only due to its financial performance but also its reception among audiences and critics. As per Rotten Tomatoes, the sequel is “just as visually dazzling and action-packed as its predecessor, thrilling from start to cliffhanger conclusion”. The audience consensus reveals that the movie delivers “incredible animation, a super story and tons of Easter eggs”, making it everything fans could ask for.
Impact on the Animation Industry
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Aside from its box office success, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse is also redefining the boundaries of animation. The movie introduces six different animation styles, contrasting with most animated movies that stick to one. This innovative approach in animation has been well received, with critics describing each shot as “as beautiful as a painting, brimming with creativity, with brushstrokes from a lot of people”.
The use of advanced technology has been a crucial aspect of this innovation. The crew for the movie created new technology that allowed them to mix 2D and 3D and to combine hand-drawn and computer-generated images, then add details like speech bubbles or colours that bleed into each other purposefully. As the characters move between universes, each world has its unique animation style, yet they all have to be cohesive with one another. This required each art department to work closely together to ensure characters and their features moved similarly across multiple worlds.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse is also being lauded for its diverse protagonists. In addition to Miles Morales, the Afro-Latino teen who is the lead Spider-Man, the sequel introduces a troupe of many other Spider-people, including Mexican Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O’Hara), Black superhero Jessica Drew, and Indian Spider-Man Pavitr Prabhakar.
Looking Ahead To Beyond The Spider-Verse
The box office success of Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse is a testament to the potential of innovative storytelling and diverse representation in animated movies. The film’s directors, Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, who brought this story to life, have set a high bar for future projects. Moreover, the movie’s success has already assured the continuity of the Spider-Verse, with Sony announcing a third instalment, Beyond the Spider-Verse, set to be released in 2024.
As it stands, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse has not only surpassed its predecessor in terms of box office earnings but also in terms of its impact on the animation industry and the promotion of diversity within the genre. The film’s success signals a promising future for the Spider-Verse and serves as a benchmark for other animation studios. As they strive to match or exceed the bar set by Across The Spider-Verse, audiences can look forward to more innovative, inclusive, and engaging animated films in the future.
What do you make of this news? Are you looking forward to watching Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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