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Weekend Report: Franchise Fatigue Weighs Down 'Amazing Spider-Man 2'

by Ray Subers
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
 

 
May 4, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 scored one of the best debuts of the year, but wasn't nearly as amazing as past outings in the Spider-Man franchise.

Of course, the movie is doing significantly stronger business overseas. So far, it's earned $277 million, and has a good chance of matching its predecessor's $490 million total.

At the domestic box office, the sequel to the 2012 reboot opened to $91.6 million. That's a bit lower than Captain America: The Winter Soldier's $95 million debut last month. It is higher than Thor: The Dark World ($85.7 million), and is also above 2009 summer kick-off X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($85.1 million).

Compared to other outings in the Spider-Man series, though, this is a disappointing debut. It's tough to compare this to the first Amazing Spider-Man, which opened on a Tuesday ahead of the Fourth of July weekend. The best comparable titles are the first and third movie in Sam Raimi's original trilogy, which also debuted on the first weekend of May. Those opened to $114.8 million and $151.1 million, respectively, with much lower average ticket prices and no 3D premiums.

The Spider-Man character clearly remains very popular—if that weren't the case, it couldn't have possibly reached $90 million. It's abundantly clear, though, that this franchise has to some extent worn out its welcome with moviegoers.

To justify its existence so soon after the Raimi series, the 2012 reboot needed to be great; unfortunately, reactions were generally mixed. It was also the lowest-grossing entry yet at the domestic box office with $262 million (down 22 percent from the last entry).

To stop the bleeding, the second outing threw a ton of villains at Spider-Man, though that approach had its pros and cons (Electro looked silly, while Green Goblin felt redundant). Marketing wasn't quite able to overcome the "been there, done that" feeling that's accompanied this reboot series.

There was also an expectation that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would be propped up by its Summer kick-off release date. Unfortunately, Captain America: The Winter Soldier seems to have stolen some of its thunder there. Reviews didn't help either, as it wound up being the worst-reviewed Spider-Man movie yet.

According to Sony, the audience was 61 percent male and 51 percent under the age of 25. That's younger than the typical audience for a superhero movie, and family attendance (33 percent) likely had something to do with this.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did strong business in IMAX: playing at 353 locations, it earned an estimated $9.3 million ($27,000 per-theater average). In comparison, Captain America: The Winter Soldier grossed $9.6 million at 346 locations.

The long-term prospects for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 at the domestic box office aren't great. The movie received a so-so "B+" CinemaScore, which suggests word-of-mouth will be only a bit better than the reviews. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will likely fall off quickly in the coming weeks, and is essentially guaranteed to be the lowest-grossing entry yet in the franchise. Based on the pattern of other May openers, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 should finish with around $230 million.

In a distant second place, The Other Woman eased 42 percent to $14.4 million. Through 10 days, the comedy hit has earned $47.6 million.

Heaven is for Real held on to third place with $8.6 million (down 40 percent). The faith-based drama passed Son of God on Saturday, and has now earned $65.5 million total.

Facing tough competition from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier fell 52 percent to $7.8 million. So far, the superhero sequel has earned $237.2 million, and will soon pass My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($241.4 million) to become the highest-grossing April release ever.

Animated sequel Rio 2 rounded out the Top Five with $7.7 million. To date, the movie has taken in $106.6 million—that's around $9 million below the first Rio through the same point.

In limited release, Fox Searchlight's Belle earned a solid $106,578 from four theaters. Searchlight is planning to expand the movie over the next few weeks, with the hope that it will be in around 300 theaters by Memorial Day.

Originally slated for a wide release through FilmDistrict, Elizabeth Banks comedy Walk of Shame got the day-and-date VOD treatment from Focus Features this weekend. Playing at 51 locations, the movie earned just $39,751. It reportedly shot up to first place on iTunes, though specific VOD information is not available.

Around-the-World Roundup

Reaching its final overseas markets, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 earned a very strong $116 million this weekend. Its biggest new territories were France ($10.6 million) and Brazil ($10.5 million), both of which were improvements over the first Amazing Spider-Man.

More importantly, though, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did fantastic business in Asia this weekend. It opened to $6.5 million in India, which is the biggest start ever for a Hollywood title. It also ranked third all-time in the Philippines with $5.6 million. Other markets include Indonesia ($5.2 million), Malaysia ($4.6 million), Hong Kong ($3.6 million), Singapore ($3.5 million), Thailand ($2.6 million) and Vietnam ($1.3 million). Each of those debuts was significantly higher than the first Amazing Spider-Man.

Finally, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened in China on Sunday and earned a stellar $10.4 million. This debut suggests that the movie could make a run at $100 million there.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already earned $277 million overseas. The big question now is whether or not it can top its predecessor's $490 million total; without a full week in China, it's tough to predict, though it does seem likely at this point.

Rio 2 added $24.5 million this weekend, which includes a decent $1.7 million opening in South Korea. So far it's taken in $286.8 million, and still has Australia and Japan on the way.

The Other Woman continued to do strong business overseas. The movie added $19.4 million for a new total of $45.5 million. It took first place in Germany with $4.4 million, and also had solid debuts in Russia ($2.4 million) and Mexico ($1.15 million).

Frozen continued its fantastic run in Japan, where it added $11.1 million in its eighth weekend in theaters. Remarkably, that's the movie's top weekend so far there. To date, it has grossed $143.2 million in Japan, and should continue to put up strong numbers for weeks to come. On a worldwide basis it reached $1.17 billion, and is now around $46 million away from topping Iron Man 3.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier added $10 million for a new total of $442.7 million. It has now earned nearly $680 million worldwide, which puts it ahead of 2013's Man of Steel ($668 million).

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.

This Weekend's Forecast:
Forecast: Will 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Reach $100 Million?

Past 'Spider-Man' Openings:
'Spider-Man' Swings High But Falls Short of Predecessors
'Spider-Man 3' Soars Into Record Books
'Spider-Man 2' Amazes on Opening Day
'Spider-Man' Takes Box Office on the Ultimate Spin: $114.8 Million

This Weekend in Past Years:
• 2013 - 'Iron Man 3' Takes Off with Second-Highest Opening Ever
• 2012 - 'Avengers' Smashes Records
• 2011 - 'Thor' Thwacks It Within the Park

• 2010 - 'Iron Man 2' Builds on 'Iron Man' Launch
• 2009 - 'Wolverine' Roars
• 2008 - 'Iron Man' Blasts Off
• 2007 - 'Spider-Man 3' Soars Into Record Books
• 2006 - 'Mission: Impossible III' Doesn't Thrill
• 2005 - 'Kingdom' of Limbo, 'House' of Lax

Related Charts
Weekend Box Office Results
All-Time Domestic
All-Time Openings



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