Spider-Man: Homecoming webs the competition, becoming the highest grossing superhero film of 2017 with an $874 million total gross. There is one caveat: its massive success is due largely in part to its exceptional performance in foreign markets like China and South Korea.
When compared to Wonder Woman ($820 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s ($863 million) total box office gross, Homecoming outperformed Guardians Vol. 2 by a slight margin while edging out Wonder Woman by roughly $54 million, according to Box Office Mojo. However, domestically, Wonder Woman is this year’s highest-performing superhero film. Director Patty Jenkins‘ loving tribute to the feminist hero out-performed both James Gunn‘s sequel and the Spider-Man reboot, raking in approximately $412 million to Guardians Vol 2‘s $390 million and Homecoming‘s $332 million. In fact, when comparing North American earnings, Wonder Woman earned $80 million more than everyone’s favorite web-slinger. Besides dominating the box office for several weeks in a row, Wonder Woman made history by setting a record opening for a female-directed film.
The dramatic difference between Wonder Woman and Spider-Man‘s foreign performance can probably be attributed to international brand awareness. Spider-Man has been featured in six films (counting Captain America: Civil War) since 2002, while Wonder Woman made her first big screen appearance in 2016 with the disappointing Suicide Squad. Spider-Man has also headlined several animated series and video games. Wonder Woman, outside of comics, has mostly co-starred in animated shows like Justice League Unlimited and the Injustice fighting game franchise. Given the incredible critical and financial response to Jenkins’ film, the follow-up is guaranteed to break additional records, potentially outperforming the original.
In 2017, one thing is clear: comic book fans have won.