Update Monday May 5: The web of Spider-Man movies continues to weave. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did manage to get into the 90 million range, topping off at $92 million for its domestic debut weekend. That's a thirty million dollar increase from the first film (though that number was skewed by technically opening on the Tuesday before the weeknd, with only Friday, Saturday, and Sunday counting), and about four million dollars higher than the original Spider-Man 2.
So why is this not a success story?
Well, the first Spider-Man 2 opened in about 170 less theaters, had no 3D or IMAX somewhat artificially boosting numbers through higher ticket prices, and when adjusted for inflation would have clocked in at $113 million. Amazing Spider-Man 2 came in at lower than Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which stole its "Summer kick-off" thunder with an earlier release, as well, and when you look at Spider-Man 3 (which critically has a similar reception), even without inflation, that film pulled in over $150 million to start its run.
So, is the $92.5 million start enough to protect the franchise and its spin-off potential? Most likely. Strong overseas marks have the film at over $350 million worldwide - and the real metric here for Sony Pictures is wanting to hit at least $750 million across the globe, as every other Spidey movie has done before. Still, $92 million is not the triumphant victory the web head needed, and that speaks to the overall strength of the superhero market.
Original Story May 2: In the tenth widest opening of all-time, surpassing none other than the first The Amazing Spider-Man, the sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 debuts this weekend in 4,324 theaters (six more than the first, 1 less than the #9 ranked film, 5th widest release of a comic book movie).
But how will it perform?
Thursday night/midnight showings earned $8.7 million, a solid start, but not a spectacular one. The movie’s weekend forecast is now down from mid-90 millions to mid-80 millions, with around $85 million expected for the opening. This will put it well above The Amazing Spider-Man’s $62 million opening weekend, which had the bonus advantage of a Fourth of July weekend release. The next bar is at $88 million, the surprisingly low mark for Spider-Man 2, largely considered by critics and fans alike as the peak of the franchise.
But critical reception for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been middling at best. RottenTomatoes has the movie rated “rotten” with a 56% positive review mark. The first film had a 73%, and Spider-Man 3, one of the most fan-reviled superhero movies ever, had a 63%. Perhaps the more important metric, though, is the audience review - in reverse, that was a 51% for SM3, and a 78% for both ASM and the same so far for ASM2. Despite critics being lower on this than any other Spider-Man movie before, though, it’s still expected to open higher than the first film in the reboot. For the record, Newsarama liked the film, despite a bit of a glut in the cut (it clocks in at nearly 2.5 hours).
Regardless, there is much more on the line here for Sony Pictures than just the success of one movie. If The Amazing Spider-Man 2 does not see considerable success, it’s going to be awfully hard to sell the public on a movie featuring only the character’s villains, with the planned spin-offs of Sinister Six and Venom, let alone finishing out the trilogy with Amazing Spider-Man 3, which is Director Marc Webb and star Andrew Garfield’s planned last film in the series (despite an “ASM4” already on the Sony release schedule).