Vindicated! ‘Spider-Man 2’ swung into theaters 20 years ago this weekend

This makes me feel old. PLUS: My ‘Acolyte’ thoughts and theories, The Rock makes a Santa movie, and you can buy ‘Hot Ones’ for $70M.

Vindicated! ‘Spider-Man 2’ swung into theaters 20 years ago this weekend
The iconic “Sacrifice” poster for Spider-Man 2. / Columbia Pictures

Welcome to a very busy summer edition of Popculturology. Let’s dive into a week filled with Star Wars and so much more ...

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Hope dangles on a string
Like slow-spinning redemption
Winding in, and winding out
The shine of it has caught my eye

And roped me in so mesmerizing
So hypnotizing
I am captivated
I am

If you know what comes next for the lyrics to Dashboard Confessional’s “Vindicated,” there’s a good chance you spent the summer of 2004 listening to the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack. (Or you’re a member of Gen Z who is really into the band, which is something that Caitlin and I ran into a few summers ago when we saw Dashboard open for Third Eye Blind.)

It makes me feel incredibly old to say this, but this weekend is the twentieth anniversary of Spider-Man 2 swinging into theaters.

Twenty. Years.

It’s been long enough that the Sam Raimi movies have gone from beloved to maligned to once again beloved. Tobey Maguire even played an older version of his Peter Parker in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.

In the time before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was hard to beat Raimi’s Spider-Man movies. The first Spider-Man rewrote expectations for box office records, opening with a $114.8 million weekend (the first movie to break the $100 million weekend mark) on the way to $822.7 million worldwide. It was the first time I ever went to a movie, found that it was sold out and had to buy tickets for a show later in the evening.