Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 3 Is Finally Getting The Love It Deserves 17 Years After Its Divisive Release

Black suit Spider-Man flexing next to Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man in Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 is finally getting some well-deserved appreciation 17 years after its initial release was met with a mixed reception. Anticipation was high for 2007’s Spider-Man 3, the third chapter in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man series. While the Marvel film did exceptionally well at the box office, grossing $895 million worldwide, it was met with a divisive response from critics and audiences. Many complained that the film was overstuffed with villains and side plots that made the narrative messy, and it also featured several corny moments that led to an inconsistent tone.

17 years later, it’s still regarded as the worst of the Raimi trilogy, but it has developed its share of defenders. Many have grown an appreciation for the film, finding great elements of the film that make up for its more noticeable flaws. Spider-Man 3 had a re-release on April 29, and it was surprisingly successful, showing that the film has plenty of supporters who are willing to see it again in theaters.

Spider-Man 3’s Theatrical Re-Release Did Unexpectedly Well

Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man with Venom suit in Spider-Man 3

All the Spider-Man films are being re-released in theaters in the first half of 2024. It started with the Raimi trilogy, and will continue with the Andrew Garfield films, then the Tom Holland MCU films. Since it has been a while since the Raimi films were in theaters, audiences were excited to either relive the experience of seeing it in theaters or see it in a theater for the first time. The Raimi trilogy’s re-release performed well in theaters, and Spider-Man 3 did surprisingly well.

According to Collider, Spider-Man 3 had a Monday gross of $760,000 from 466 domestic theaters. Compared to the other films, it outperformed Spider-Man, which made $681,000, but came short of Spider-Man 2, which made $805,000. Spider-Man 2‘s success is unsurprising as many consider it the best of the trilogy, but Spider-Man 3 beating the first is unexpected. It shows that many have grown an appreciation for the film over time, and many elements of Spider-Man 3 deserve praise.

Why Spider-Man 3 Has Aged So Well

Sandman holding a bag in Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 does have plenty of flaws. There are way too many storylines, Topher Grace’s Venom is unnecessary and poorly executed, and the film’s tone is all over the place. While Bully Maguire has become a hilarious meme, it’s a strange choice for Peter Parker’s character arc. It’s easy to look at its flaws, but many good things about Spider-Man 3 are often overlooked. Firstly, Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman is an excellent villain. From the moment he emerges, he’s a sympathetic villain whose motivations make him more tragic than wicked.

While Sandman’s connection to Peter is controversial, it does give Peter a good internal obstacle that he must overcome. Secondly, Spider-Man 3 boasts some of the best action sequences in the Raimi trilogy. The subway fight between Sandman and Spider-Man is engrossing, and the final fight with Venom is an exciting climax despite Venom’s mishandling. It’s also a hilarious movie, whether that was intentional or not. Despite its many problems, Spider-Man 3 is still highly entertaining and delivers a solid thrill.

How Spider-Man 4 Can Follow Up On Spider-Man 3’s Story

Tobey Maguire smirks in Spider-Man: No Way Home

Since the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, there has been plenty of speculation about what a Spider-Man 4 with Maguire could look like. There isn’t too much known about where Maguire is in his life, but he did say in No Way Home that he and Mary Jane “made it work,” suggesting they are still together but have had ups and downs since Spider-Man 3. It could be interesting to see MJ and Peter have a kid, and how Peter has to balance his responsibilities of being a superhero while also being a father.

Raimi has shared that he wanted to use John Malkovich as Vulture and Anne Hathaway as Black Cat in Spider-Man 4. They might not be the villains anymore if this fourth chapter moved forward, but it looks like Raimi wants to bring his Spider-Man back to a more grounded story rather than one that deals with alien symbiote. Maguire’s Spidey did recently jump into the multiverse, but it could be interesting to see his character in a story on a smaller scale, like the first two films.

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