In order to take full advantage of the Fourth of July holiday, The Amazing Spider-Man got a jump on the competition with a Tuesday opening. Through its first two days in theaters, the reboot has made $59.2 million, which puts it on track for strong grosses through the end of the weekend. 3D concert movie Katy Perry: Part of Me (2,730 locations) and Oliver Stone's Savages (2,627 theaters) are also trying to get in on the action a bit, though last weekend's winner Ted should wind up in second place behind Spider-Man.
The Amazing Spider-Man began its run with the highest Tuesday gross ever ($35 million) and then the second-highest non-opening Wednesday ever ($23.3 million). Through its first two days, its running a bit behind the first Transformers, which opened on the same day in 2007 and had earned $65.7 million to this point. That did include $8.8 million from day-early evening shows, though, so the numbers are a bit skewed. Amazing Spider-Man is also off from Spider-Man 2's $64.3 million two-day start, which was also a mid-week debut coinciding with the Fourth of July holiday in 2004.
While Amazing Spider-Man is currently trailing these comparable titles by a small margin, it's playing well enough at this point to put a definitive end to speculation that a reboot timed so closely to the original installments couldn't be successful. The Sam Raimi trilogy set a new bar for comic book movie grosses by earning $403.7 million, $373.6 million, and $336.5 million, and Spider-Man remains one of the most popular characters in the world. In the marketing materials, at least, Sony hits the sweet spot between taking advantage of the mighty brand while at the same time presenting something that appears new. There's an entirely fresh cast headlined by hot young talent Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) and Emma Stone (The Help, Easy A), both of whom appeal to men and women. They also introduced a new villain, The Lizard, who hasn't seen a big-screen incarnation and is close-enough to an A-list Spider-Man villain (similar to the Scarecrow in Batman Begins). Those changes, combined with the promise of seeing Spider-Man swing through the streets of New York in 3D, appear to be enough to retain most of the revenue, if not the attendance, of prior entries.
Ahead of release, Sony was forecasting between $110 and $120 million for the six-day frame. With two days of strong grosses under its belt, though, it looks likely that The Amazing Spider-Man winds up with at least $140 million by Sunday.
At 2,730 locations, Katy Perry: Part of Me aims to draw Katy Perry's legion of young female fans to the movie theater. This strategy worked well for distributor Paramount's Insurge label last year when Justin Bieber: Never Say Never debuted to $29.5 million on its way to a $73 million total. Other successful concert movies in the past few years include Michael Jackson's This Is It ($23.2 million debut) and Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour ($31.1 million opening), though there are also recent duds from the Jonas Brothers ($19.2 million total) and Glee ($11.9 million total). Katy Perry is popular enough that her movie will avoid the Jonas Brothers problem, though she's not quite as "of the moment" as Bieber or Hannah Montana were at the time of their movies. There's also frankly more competition for Katy Perry in the Summer than Bieber had in February, with Spider-Man and Brave both doing strong business with young women. Paramount is predicting low-to-mid teens for the movie over its first four days (it opens on Thursday).
Oliver Stone's Savages has been positioned as counterprogramming, but its gritty, hardcore drug-related violence ultimately feels out of place among all the colorful fun that's currently playing in theaters. For this type of movie to be successful, it usually needs a strong lead to back it up: Contraband ($66.5 million) had Mark Wahlberg, while Man on Fire ($77.9 million) had Denzel Washington. While the Savages ensemble has plenty of up-and-coming actors, none of them have the kind of box office firepower needed to push this out of the gate. Its also a tough time on the schedule for Savages: R-rated movies Ted and Magic Mike have overperformed with $79.6 million and $52.6 million, respectively, through their first six days, and will likely continue to attract a lot of attention from adults this weekend. Universal is reporting soft tracking, and is only expecting around $10 million for the weekend.
After two weeks in limited release, Woody Allen's To Rome with Love is making its nationwide expansion this weekend (an official theater count isn't currently available). Through Sunday, the movie had earned $1.23 million, and it should at least match that amount this weekend. Unfortunately, word-of-mouth has been iffy at best, and there's little chance that it ultimately breaks out of the normal final range for recent Allen movies ($3-$10 million).
Weekend Forecast (July 6-8) 1. The Amazing Spider-Man - $67 million ($142 million six-day) 2. Ted - $31.6 million (-42%) 3. Brave - $20.1 million (-41%) 4. Katy Perry - $13.5 million ($19 million four-day) 5. Magic Mike - $15.7 million (-60%) -. Savages - $11.1 million
Bar for Success Each Spider-Man movie to this point has earned between $144.1 million and $180.1 million through its first six days: with 3D premiums and some ticket price inflation, The Amazing Spider-Man is in good shape if it gets near the very bottom of that range. Katy Perry: Part of Me needs around $20 million for the four-day start to be included in the upper-echelon of concert movies, while Savages is fine if it opens above $15 million.