Movie fans expect Sony and Marvel's untitled Spider-Man 3 to score the biggest box office of any superhero movie releasing in 2021, a new poll shows. The Jon Watts-directed followup to the Marvel Studios produced Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home was scheduled to open July 16, 2021, but was pushed back to November 2021 after Sony Pictures shifted the release of Venom sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage from its October 2, 2020 date, postponing the Spidey spinoff until June 25, 2021. Sony, who will co-finance the next Spider-Man with Disney as part of the new pact between the two studios, webbed up their highest-grossing movie ever when Far From Home followed Avengers: Endgame last summer with a global box office of $1.31 billion.
Spider-Man 3 topped a poll on Reddit's box office subreddit, where 181 of 360 respondents voted the Sony-Marvel movie as the prospective blockbuster most likely to be crowned highest-grossing superhero movie of 2021 worldwide.
The poll was conducted days before Marvel and Sony each moved tentpoles out of 2021 — Disney on Friday bumped Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to March 2022, days after Sony shifted Venom: Let There Be Carnage — and does not include Sony's own Morbius, bumped from July 2020 to March 2021, or the Dwayne Johnson-starring Black Adam, currently set for Dec. 22, 2021.
Warner Bros.' The Batman, a reboot directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson in the titular role, came in second place with 107 votes. Once set for June 2021, Batman will now open months later in October 2021. Ranked third is Sam Raimi-directed Doctor Strange sequel In the Multiverse of Madness, which won 42 votes before the movie was moved into 2022.
In fourth place with 17 votes is The Eternals, a new property from Marvel Studios, set for Feb. 12, 2021, followed by another new Marvel property, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, now opening May 7 next year. In last place is Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe-set The Suicide Squad with six votes. The DC Comics film from Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director James Gunn opens August 6, 2021.
Tom Holland steps into the Spider-Man role a sixth time in the untitled Far From Home sequel, again taking place in the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plot details remain under wraps, but Far From Home ended with the wall-crawler framed for the murder of Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) when his secret identity was exposed on national television by pundit J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons). The next Spider-Man is expected to feature another Marvel superhero and could exhibit wider ties to Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters after trailers for Morbius revealed that film is at least adjacent to the Disney-owned MCU.
Spider-Man 3 now opens November 5, 2021.
Following Ben Affleck's departure as the Dark Knight, The Batman focuses on a less-experienced version of the costumed crime-fighter (Pattinson) who is drawn into a city-wide conspiracy involving an already established rogues gallery, including Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), the Riddler (Paul Dano) and the Penguin (Colin Farrell). The last solo film starring Batman, Christopher Nolan's trilogy closer The Dark Knight Rises, earned $1.081 billion worldwide in 2012.
The Batman opens October 1, 2021.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi returns to the realm of superheroes with the sequel to 2016's Doctor Strange following the exit of Scott Derrickson. Story details are scarce, but Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige has confirmed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is connected to WandaVision, a big-budget television series coming to Disney+ with Avengers stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, as well as Loki, a new series starring the trickster demigod (Tom Hiddleston). Doctor Strange grossed $677 million globally, and the sorcerer later played a pivotal role in Avengers: Infinity War before returning in Avengers: Endgame, currently the highest-grossing film of all time.
Director Chloé Zhao has assembled a star-studded cast for The Eternals, including Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Richard Madden and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead), Kumail Nanjiani (Men in Black: International), Brian Tyree Henry (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Salma Hayek (The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard), and Gemma Chan (Captain Marvel).
The Eternals opens February 12, 2021.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Marvel Studios launches another new property, Shang-Chi, under director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, Just Mercy). Led by charismatic Kim's Convenience star Simu Liu, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings marks Marvel's first Asian superhero movie and has the potential to reach the heights of Black Panther ($1.34 billion), Marvel Studios' first film featuring a predominantly Black cast, and Captain Marvel ($1.12 billion), the studio's first female-led feature film.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens May 7, 2021.
The Suicide Squad
Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn assembles his own star-studded cast in The Suicide Squad, which is not a direct sequel to 2016's David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad. Joining returning Suicide Squad stars Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, and Joel Kinnaman are franchise newcomers Idris Elba, John Cena, Taika Waititi, David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Sean Gunn (Avengers: Endgame), Peter Capaldi Gunn’s frequent collaborator Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy).
The Suicide Squad is set for August 6, 2021.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Venom: Let There Be Carnage pits the symbiote superhero (Tom Hardy) against serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) under the direction of motion capture master Andy Serkis (Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle). 2018's Ruben Fleischer-directed Venom earned $856 million globally as the first entry in Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters.
The Venom sequel opens June 25, 2021, after that date was vacated by The Batman.
When biochemist Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) turns to an experimental process in the hopes of curing his rare blood disease, he's infected by a form of vampirism that turns him into a blood-thirsty, living vampire hunted by FBI agent Simon Stroud (Tyrese Gibson) and other authorities. Morbius is set in Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters, home to Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Once scheduled for July 2020, Morbius now opens March 19, 2021.
Superstar Dwayne Johnson smashes into the DC Extended Universe in Black Adam, which Johnson says will "reshape what a comic book movie is." Traditionally the archenemy of superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi) in DC Comics lore, Johnson's anti-hero is a "rebellious, one of a kind superhero" who will "always do what's right for the people — but he does it his way."
Warner Bros. has scheduled Jaume Collet-Serra's (The Shallows, Johnson's Jungle Cruise) Black Adam for December 22, 2021.
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