The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a sequel about the web-slinging superhero, snared $92 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales over the weekend, taking the top spot on movie box- office charts at the start of Hollywood’s lucrative summer blockbuster season. The big-budget, effects-filled movie starring Andrew Garfield is expected to rank as one of the year’s highest-grossing films. With international sales, it has rung up nearly $370 million around the globe through Sunday, distributor Sony Corp said. The Other Woman, a comedy about three women out for revenge on a cheating husband, finished a distant second on domestic charts with $14.2 million, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, another superhero sequel and previous box-office champ, trailed in the fourth slot with $7.8 million from Friday through Sunday, behind Heaven Is for Real, a faith-based drama and Sony release which grabbed third place with $8.7 million for a $65 million box- office total in just its third week of release.
The performance of …Spider-Man 2 could not quite match the strong domestic opening for Captain America in April, when the Marvel Studios film took in $95 million in its first three days. Ahead of the weekend, box-office forecasters projected …Spider-Man would collect $85 million to $95 million. In the …Spider-Man sequel, Garfield returns as the masked hero who swings through the streets and skyscrapers of New York, battling new villains including the formidable Electro played by Jamie Foxx. Garfield’s real-life girlfriend, Emma Stone, portrays Gwen Stacy, the on-screen love interest of Spidey’s alter ego Peter Parker.
“This was a fantastic result,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment, adding that the opening bodes well for Sony, “not only meeting our goals, but exceeding them.”
The film is Sony’s biggest bet this year, with a production cost of roughly $200 million, according to movie website IMDB. Last summer, the studio suffered from two major bombs, thrillers, After Earth and White House Down.
…Spider-Man leads a parade of action-packed superhero and monster movies that will reach theaters by August. They include Godzilla on May 16, X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, and Transformers: Age of Extinction on June 27. Hollywood earns about 40 per cent of ticket sales from the first weekend in May through Labor Day in September. Bruer said Sony was well-positioned going forward, saying , “It’s nice to be going into next weekend with no outrageous competition. That will give us a chance to build.” The Amazing Spider-Man,that Sony released in 2012, took in more than $750 million worldwide according to the website boxofficemojo, and Bruer said the studio hoped to equal or exceed that total.
Captain America…, starring Chris Evans as the patriotic superhero, got a head start on the summer releases and generated blockbuster sales. Through Sunday, the film had earned $680 million globally, distributor Walt Disney Co said. The Other Woman, in its second week of release, brought its domestic total to $47 million. The movie stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton as women who are dating the same married man. Leslie Mann plays his wife.
Rounding out the top five, animated sequel Rio 2, about a family of rare Brazilian birds, collected $7.6 million to bring its box- office total to $106 million. The Other Woman and Rio 2 were released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox.
That Spider-Man will eventually triumph in the high-octane 3D aerial battles and exploding buildings during the 142-minute movie is hardly in doubt. But amid the noise and destruction, an unusually tender romance more common to smaller, low budget movies is played out between Peter and Gwen as they graduate high school and take on the challenges of adult life.
“It’s like you are watching an intimate story played out on a very big landscape,” said Garfield.
Naturally, it helps that Garfield, 31, and Stone, 25, have been quietly dating in real life since meeting on the Amazing Spider-Man set three years ago.
Webb, who directed the 2009 off-beat romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer said he always hoped to fully embrace the early comic book story of brainy science student Gwen as Peter’s first true love, and he struck lucky with his cast. “Andrew and Emma are the kind of actors that can improvise and there is an authenticity to that dynamic. It is fun to watch people watch the movie. When they come on screen together, people sort of sit back and smile,” Webb said.
“It is playful, it is what you want relationships to be like. There is banter and humour, but underneath that there is a real affection.”
The on-again, off-again romance, and Peter’s promise to Gwen’s recently dead father to stay away from his girlfriend for her own safety, provides as much dramatic tension in the movie as Spider-Man’s battles with his larger-than-life foes.
“It’s what allows you to access Spider-Man and the drama that comes from him trying to separate his life as Spider-Man from Peter Parker. His inability to do that is hopefully what gives the story its power,” Webb said. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which was made by Sony Corp’s Columbia Pictures unit for a reported budget of about $200 million, is projected to make $102 million in its opening weekend, according to movie tracker Boxoffice.com. Its 2012 predecessor The Amazing Spider-Man, took a total of $752 million at the global box-office to become the seventh biggest movie worldwide that year.