After capturing an impressive overseas gross of more than $155 million in just two weeks, Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” turns its webslinger Stateside, with expectations of an opening about $95 million through Sunday.
The summer tentpole begins its U.S. rollout latenight on Thursday at approximately 3,000 locations before expanding Friday to 4,324, of which 353 are Imax. The pic’s pre-weekend projections put it in similar territory as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which bowed domestically nearly a month ago. That Marvel property has gone on to gross close to $700 million and counting globally, and the degree of interest in the “Spider-Man” sequel could translate into overperformance at the B.O.
This weekend marks the third time that a “Spider-Man” film has kick-started the summer box office season at the beginning of May.
And while a $95 million opening is nothing to scoff at, it would be on the softer side for the franchise since the first “Spider-Man,” starring Toby Maguire, opened domestically to $114.8 million in three days after its bow on May 3, 2002. “Spider-Man 3” raked in $151 million in its opening weekend in 2007.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” will draw audiences from all four quadrants, including families with younger kids, which have become more avid supporters of Marvel releases in recent years, according to box office observers.
In addition to the Stateside bow, Sony expands “Spider-Man” to virtually everywhere else internationally. Prior to this weekend, the film had been playing in 42 overseas territories.
“Spider-Man 2” comes two years after its predecessor grossed more than $750 million worldwide, proving the power of the property considering Sony started over with the franchise entirely, casting Andrew Garfield as the webslinging superhero and Emma Stone as his love interest, Gwen Stacy. That film opened mid-week prior to the July Fourth weekend, earning $137 million-plus in its first six days.
The sequel has considerable play time until the next superhero film, Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” opens over Memorial Day weekend. B.O. observers expect that film to be a behemoth this summer as it features a large collection of fan-favorite characters.
But before then, on May 16, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures look to attract their share of fanboys to “Godzilla,” which also could stomp on Spidey’s heels.
This weekend, “Spider-Man” has the playing field all to itself, though Focus Features hopes to counterprogram the juggernaut with its limited release of the raunchy Elizabeth Banks rom-com “Walk of Shame” at 51 locations.
Also, Fox Searchlight bows Amma Asante’s period racial drama “Belle,” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson, at four locations in New York and L.A.