“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has cast a strong web at the Friday box office with a $35.5 million Stateside bow.
Sony’s tentpole looks to haul an equally impressive $92 million this weekend, with studio estimates as high as $97 million.
The second superhero sequel of the year is on track with Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which started the summer blockbuster season early last month, grossing $37 million during its Friday launch and $95 million by Sunday.
The second installment of Sony’s ever-growing rebooted Spidey franchise stands to earn $30 million more than “The Amazing Spider-Man” in its first weekend. However, the two releases aren’t comparable as the first pic opened on a Tuesday leading into Fourth of July weekend. It reeled in $137 million domestic in its first six days and went on to gross $262 million ($752 million worldwide).
Marc Webb’s blockbuster landed overseas two weeks ago, where it has grossed more than $155 million. On Thursday it obliterated the all-time opening day box office record in Hong Kong with $1.2 million (Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3” was the previous record holder). Indonesia and Malaysia also saw the biggest openings of all time, while India and Vietnam had the biggest openings for a U.S. film.
Prior to this weekend, the film had been playing in 42 markets. It will expand to almost every international territory on Sunday.
The pic, which is showing in 4,324 U.S. locations (353 IMAX screens), is the worst reviewed “Spider-Man” movie. With a 55% Rotten Tomatoes rating, the film is far behind its predecessor, which earned 73% on the site. However, it has a B+ CinemaScore from audiences and received an A- from auds under 25.
This weekend marked the third time that a “Spider-Man” film has launched the official summer box office season at the beginning of May.
The coveted first weekend in May is historically the best time to premiere a comic book movie. “The Avengers” ($207.4 million) and “Iron Man 3” ($174.1 million) had the two biggest domestic openings ever when they debuted during that time frame in 2012 and 2013.
Before 2012, only two other movies became summer box office champs after opening that weekend: “Spider-Man 3″ in 2007 and “Spider-Man” in 2002.
Sony rebooted the Spider-Man franchise in 2012, five years after the mega-success of Raimi’s trilogy. Although it’s done solid business, the movie series has grossed less so far with Garfield as Spidey. Each of the Tobey Maguire-starring “Spider-Man” movies earned more during their opening weekends and overall, both Stateside and worldwide, than “Amazing Spider-Man.”
Sony’s original “Spider-Man” opened domestically to $114.8 million exactly 12 years ago today and the final chapter of Raimi’s franchise made $151 million when it debuted in 2007. “Spider-Man 3” hauled $337 million ($891 million worldwide).
At $92 million, “Amazing Spider-Man 2” could be on par with 2004′s “Spider-Man 2,” which debuted to $88 million (the lowest of the three pics) and commanded a strong $784 million worldwide. The two movies also reportedly have matching $200 million budgets.
As for the rest of the weekend fare, “The Other Woman” came in miles behind with $4.8 million on Friday (down almost 50%), en route to $14 million-plus this weekend (down more than 40%). Fox’s revenge comedy was the victor last weekend with its $33 million opening.
Meanwhile, “Heaven Is for Real” continued to impress in its third frame, overtaking “Captain America” with $2.4 million. Sony’s Christian drama will likely earn $8.5 million by Sunday, lifting its cume to $65 million.
The “Captain America” sequel proved its staying power with $2 million on Friday. It’s set for $7 million-plus this weekend, which would raise its domestic cume to almost $237 million.
Newcomer “Belle” made $31,000 in four locations in Los Angeles and New York City on Friday. Fox Searchlight’s British period drama could take $108 million in its debut.