'Spider-Man' casts a wide web to top weekend box office

LOS ANGELES, USA – Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sony's newest addition to the growing library of summertime superhero yarns, spun up an impressive opening in North American theaters this weekend, with ticket sales for the 3-day weekend estimated at $117 million.

That would give the film the third-largest opening so far this year, behind Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Sony, along with Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, spent a hefty $175 million to make the film, but global sales have already surpassed $250 million, according to website boxofficemojo.com.

This family-friendly version of Spider-Man – with a 93% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website – stars Tom Holland as a young Peter Parker, ably mentored by Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man as he takes on bad guy Vulture (Michael Keaton). Director Jon Watts had previously helmed lower-budget cop and horror films.

Last week's No. 1 film, Despicable Me 3, came in second at a respectable $34 million, website Exhibitor Relations reported. In Universal's latest installment in the animated series, Steve Carell stars as the voice of bad guy-turned-protagonist Gru – and his twin brother Dru. Kristen Wiig voices Gru's wife Lucy and South Park co-creator Trey Parker is evil villain Balthazar Bratt.

In third spot was Sony's heist thriller Baby Driver, with Ansel Elgort (The Fault in our Stars) starring as a gifted getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus – ringing in his ears – forcing him to play music on his iPod to concentrate when behind the wheel. It took in $12.7 million in its third week.

Fourth was Wonder Woman, at $10.1 million. The Warner Bros. superhero action film stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot as the Amazonian goddess-princess. 

And in fifth place was Transformers: The Last Knight from Paramount, with ticket sales of $6.3 million. The latest episode in that blockbuster series, heavy on visual effects, features actors Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Anthony Hopkins.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

– Rappler.com