LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sony's newest addition to the growing library of summertime superhero yarns, spun up an impressive opening in North American theatres this weekend, with ticket sales for the three-day weekend estimated at US$117 million (S$162 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 US$175 million to make the film, but global sales have already surpassed US$250 million, according to website boxofficemojo.com.
This family-friendly version of Spider-Man - with a 93 per cent 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 previously helmed lower-budget cop and horror films.
Last week's No. 1 film, Despicable Me 3, came in second at a respectable US$34 million, website Exhibitor Relations reported. In Universal's latest instalment 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 US$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 US$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: Cars 3, The House, The Big Sick, 47 Meters Down and The Beguiled.