HOLLYWOOD, California: More than tripling the debut of its 2018 animated original predecessor, Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" opened in US and Canadian theaters this week with box office earnings of $120.5 million.
According to studio estimates, the multi-verse spinning animated Spider-Man spinoff and hotly anticipated follow-up to the Oscar-winning "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" exceeded expectations and gained exceptional reviews, with a 95 percent average on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie, directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson, launched with cost $100 million to film, about half the cost of the average live-action superhero movie.
It also had the second largest domestic opening in 2023, only behind "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," and it even even outperformed "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which debuted with $118 million, for best summer opening weekend this year.
Produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the film is part two in a trilogy, which will conclude with a third chapter to be released in 2024.
Across the Spider-Verse also performed well overseas, earning $88.1 million.
By contrast, last week's top film, Walt Disney's live action remake of "The Little Mermaid," dropped to second with $40.6 million in ticket sales in it second weekend.
Partly resulting from competition from Across the Spider-Verse, The Little Mermaid declined by 57 percent, after launching with $117.5 million in sales over the four-day Memorial Day weekend.
With a reported production cost of $250 million, The Little Mermaid was met with mixed reviews, and it has struggled overseas, where previous Disney live-action remakes have been successful, adding only $42.4 million internationally over the weekend.
In a limited release, the Sundance breakout film "Past Lives" launched with an impressive $58,067 per-screen average on four screens.