Spider-Man: Homecoming beats US box office expectations

Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming Image copyright Sony Pictures
Image caption British actor Tom Holland stars in Spider-Man: Homecoming

Shares in Sony have climbed 1.7% after the latest instalment of the Spider-Man film franchise beat expectations at the North American box office.

Spider-Man: Homecoming raked in $117m (£91m) in its opening weekend, topping industry estimates of $80-$110m.

Sony Pictures, which owns the film rights to the Marvel comic character, said the figure was the second largest in its history, behind Spider-Man 3.

It comes amid a slow summer at the US box office where takings are down 8%.

In Homecoming, Spider-Man's alter ego Peter Parker, played by British actor Tom Holland, has to juggle his high school responsibilities with his secret life as a masked vigilante.

He soon encounters Adrian Toomes, a villainous arms dealer played by Michael Keaton, who has his own alter-ego in the form of wing-sporting marauder Vulture.

The film cost $175m to produce and has already grossed $250m in global sales, according to online database

Image copyright Sony Pictures
Image caption Michael Keaton plays the villain Vulture

Much attention has been paid its successful marketing campaign, which heavily featured the superhero Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr, who serves as Spider-Man's mentor in the film.

That followed a 2015 deal between Sony and Walt Disney which allowed the web-slinger to appear alongside fellow Marvel Comics characters on screen.

Tom Holland is the third actor to play Spider-Man in 15 years, following Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire.

The film's success comes despite a slow summer at the North American box office which impacted previously reliable franchises such as Transformers and Despicable Me.

Overall, summer box office takings stand at around $2.3bn, 8% lower than last year.

However, year-to-date takings are on a par with 2016, after movies such as Beauty and the Beast and The Fate of the Furious did well in the first half of 2017.

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