The number topped the late Thursday night gross for 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which debuted with $7.5 million. “Spider-Man 3″ also debuted with a Thursday-night gross of $7.5 million in the U.S. in 2007.
Imax shows contributed impressively to “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ with $1.4 million, or 16%, of the Thursday-night total.
The $8.7 million is 15% behind the $10.2 million on the first Thursday night for Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which launched a month ago during spring break for many moviegoers as part of a $37 million opening day and a $95 million opening weekend in the U.S.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ outperformed Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” which grossed $7.1 million at 8 p.m. Thursday shows in November on its way to an $85.7 million opening weekend.
The tentpole has already taken in an impressive overseas gross of more than $155 million in two weeks. Expectations for the U.S. launch are for an opening weekend of about $95 million, matching “The Winter Soldier,” which has grossed nearly $700 million globally.
The latenight Thursday launch for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ took place at approximately 3,000 locations before expanding Friday to 4,324, of which 353 are IMAX.
It’s the third time that Sony’s launched a “Spider-Man” film at the start of May. The first “Spider-Man,” starring Toby Maguire, opened domestically to $114.8 million in three days after its bow on May 3, 2002, and “Spider-Man 3″ grossed $151 million in its opening weekend in 2007.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ comes two years after the predecessor grossed more than $750 million worldwide as Sony revamped the franchise with Andrew Garfield in the lead and Emma Stone as the love interest, Gwen Stacy. That film opened mid-week prior to the July Fourth weekend and took in $137 million in its first six days in the U.S.