While Spider-Man: Homecoming was a massive hit with audiences and critics, it still made a surprisingly low amount of money at the box office — because it was the third iteration of the character and second reboot in around five years. Some point to fans going through super hero movie fatigue, but that’s not really fair to say.
Kirsten Dunst, who played the first Mary Jane — that redhead who screamed a lot in the original three Spider-Man films — recently slammed Homecoming. In an interview with Variety Magazine, she said the new Spider-Man movies existed for no other reason but profit. She also took the opportunity to wax lyrical about the good old days.
“We made the best ones, so who cares? I’m like, “You make it all you want.” They’re just milking that cow for money. It’s so obvious. You know what I mean?’”
Tom Holland, the new Spider-Man, kept it cool when asked what he thought about her response.
“You know, she’s entitled to her own opinion and I’m not one to judge at all. I definitely am not doing this movie for the money. I mean, it’s a job that I think anyone would do regardless of what you were getting paid, you know? All I know is I had the greatest time on this movie and I absolutely loved it and, you know, if she doesn’t want to go and see it, I don’t really care. I don’t dislike her in any way for what she said and she’s entitled to her own opinion, so it’s all cool.”
There are films that aren’t necessarily made to make a lot of money — art films. But the original franchise wasn’t made for the sake to go on display in a museum; they were major blockbuster films. In fact, Spider-Man 2 and 3 cost more than Homecoming did to produce.
Since the disaster that was Spider-Man 3, Spider-Man as a character has been rebooted twice. First, with the Andrew Garfield-led Amazing Spider-Man, followed by the lackluster Amazing Spider-Man 2. While both seemed like cash grabs at the time, it’s really not that simple.
The reality of the situation is that Sony has a specific contract with Marvel when it comes to Spider-Man as a property. It states that Sony has to make a new movie every few years otherwise the rights go back to comic book giant. And if Sony reboots the franchise, they reportedly have to make an entire origin story all over again. That’s why— again reportedly — we’ve had to go through the pain of watching poor old Uncle Ben die twice.
Of course, all changed when Sony agreed to let Marvel Studios use Spider-Man in their films in exchange for dollars.
And to be honest, Spider-Man really isn’t the sole man in town anymore. Superhero movies are all the rage. Back when Spider-Man 1, 2 and 3 came out, there wasn’t a ton of other superheroes gracing the silver screen — besides X-Men and Fantastic Four.
While Spider-Man is still the most popular superhero in the world — he sells more merchandise than Superman and Batman, combined — he’s getting some competition. Namely, Iron Man, Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy, whose sequel outgrossed Spider-Man: Homecoming in its opening weekend by over $20 million dollars.