Marvel has owned Hollywood’s first weekend of summer for the last seven years, and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon as Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is the latest superhero movie to trail blaze the summer box office, leading a testosterone-infused slate of films that will ultimately drive the industry straight through until the last rays of the golden summer sun arrive on Labor Day.
Hey, nothing preps you for blockbuster popcorn pics like an ICEE bigger that your noggin (with free refills) and a big, boisterous $200M+ effects-driven comic book adaptation. When you consider that you’re spending, on average, $8.15—give or take an IMAX or 3D screening—it’s about the most bang for your buck that you can get these days.
In midnight/late night screening on Thursday, “Amazing Spider-Man 2” netted $8.7M –that’s a bit higher than “Amazing Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 3” which both grossed $7.5M. Still, that’s a tad lower than “Captain America: Winter Soldier” which began its journey to a $95M opening weekend with $10.2M.
Overall though, the numbers are simply staggering for Marvel’s debuts, and they aren’t changing anytime soon. One glance at the chart below shows just how confident (and rightfully so) their comic book adaptation empire has become, slotting “Captain America 3” against DC’s “Batman v. Superman” next summer and what could be “Avengers 3” in 2017.
MARVEL SUMMER KICKOFF DEBUTS (2007-2018)
2007 – Spider-Man 3 (Sony) $151M
2008 – Iron Man (Paramount) $98M
2009 – X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Fox) $85M
2010 – Iron Man 2 (Paramount) $128M
2011 – Thor (Paramount) $65M
2012 – The Avengers (Disney) $207M
2013 – Iron Man 3 (Disney) $174M
2014 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony) $85M?
2015 – The Avengers 2 (Disney) $200M+?
2016 – Captain America 3 (Disney) $100M+?
2017 – Marvel Untitled (Disney) ???
2018 – The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (Sony) ???
So, why won’t “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” reach that sacred $100+M number? Well, as strange as this sounds, Spidey is no Iron Man. The Webslinger’s first trilogy behaved in similar fashion to the Tin Can Man’s, but the latest incarnation has suffered from burn out and, quite honestly, lack of innovation and expansion within the Marvel universe.
Sure, adding a baddie or two is always fun, but just because you add two or three or a half-dozen new villains doesn’t change the fact that it’s the hero that must change, must transform.
As a true fan of the comic book, I may be a bit harsh on this particular franchise, but only because I know a missed opportunity when I see it. This new trilogy simply isn’t different enough from the last one—it’s neither spectacular nor amazing—and on top of that, “Amazing Spider-Man 2” is getting the worst debuts the series has ever seen—currently 56% on Rotten Tomatoes. If those ratings hold, it would be the first Spider-Man flick to be certified rotten. Even the atrocious “Spider-Man 3,” hit 63%, while the first two installments were widely praised with 89% and 94% respectively. Spider-sense…teetering.
Still, with all that said, since 2014 is a “down” summer in terms of fanboy fulfillment (especially when compared to the epic lineup of 2015) “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” should be the right film at the right time and pull in, at the very least, upwards of $700M worldwide.
Overseas, the sequel (or is it a quint-quel?) has already netted $155M, but it’s not faring much better than the previous film, which despite lowered expectations, still managed $752M in global sales ($262M domestic, $490M international).
SPIDER-MAN: BY THE NUMBERS
Year Film U.S. Debut (1st 3 Days) US Gross Int’l WW
2012 – The Amazing Spider-Man $74M $262M $490M $752M
2007 – Spider-Man 3 $151M $336M $554M $890M
2004 – Spider-Man 2 $96M $373M $410M $783M
2002 – Spider-Man $114M $403M $418M $821M
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – $86M
- The Other Woman – $14M
- Heaven is for Real – $9M
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier – $8.5M
- Rio 2 – $8M