Many film critics contend that rebooting the Spider-Man franchise was unnecessary, but audiences seem to disagree. The Amazing Spider-Man set a box-office record on July 3, as its $35 million opening-day total registered as the most profitable Tuesday opening ever, besting the previous record of $27.8 million set by Transformers in 2007. Forecasters now expect a holiday weekend total in the range of $110 million to $120 million for the film, which would be far less than the $146 million Transformers managed to grab over its first week of release, and certainly much less than the most recent superhero hit — The Avengers debuted to $200 million. Should The Amazing Spider-Man be ruled a hit… or a failure?
It’s a hit: The Amazing Spider-Man is cleaning up, says Grady Smith at Entertainment Weekly. The July 4 holiday weekend “is always a lucrative one in theaters,” and I bet The Amazing Spider-Man is headed for a six-day total above $150 million. “There’s always a chance that the picture could crumble,” but given the generally positive reviews, the movie’s strategic holiday-weekend release, and the enthusiastic response it’s gotten from audiences, and you’ve got a hit on your hands.
Eh, don’t be so sure: Judged against other franchise reboots, The Amazing Spider-Man is doing great, says Joal Ryan at E! Online. Its $35 million opening blew away the debuts of Superman Returns ($21 million) and Batman Begins ($15.1 million). Still, compared to the first three Spider-Man films, the new movie’s total is disappointing. The first Spider-Man opened to $39.4 million in 2002, Spider-Man 2 raked in $40.4 million in 2004, and Spider-Man 3 clobbered them all with $60 million in 2007. The Amazing Spider-Man may have set a Tuesday record, but that’s not really all that impressive: “A small, and mostly non-illustrious group of films have debuted on that day.”
Either way, this proves the reboot was a good idea: The projected figures may not be on par with Spider-Man 3‘s $151 million opening weekend, says Dave Lewis at HitFix. But The Amazing Spider-Man‘s performance is still vindicating. Remember, the initial decision to reboot the franchise was “questioned by a number fans,” but now that it’s here, The Amazing Spider-Man “seems to be clicking with general moviegoers.” Expect a planned sequel to be fast-tracked.
Best Opinion: Entertainment Weekly, E! Online, HitFix, partly compiled by The Week.