Here's your weekend box office returns (new releases bolded):
1. The Amazing Spider-Man - $65.0 million
2. Ted - $32.5 million
3. Brave - $20.1 million
4. Savages - $16.1 million
5. Magic Mike - $15.6 million
6. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection - $10.2 million
7. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - $7.7 million
8. Katy Perry: Part of Me - $7.1 million
9. Moonrise Kingdom - $4.6 million
10. To Rome With Love - $3.5 million
In the pro-vs.-con debate over The Amazing Spider-Man this weekend, there were really no winners. From the moment it opened the pro camp has tried to prop up their new baby by throwing out the old one as if at least two of the Sam Raimi films didn’t fulfill their joy requirements. Detractors of Marc Webb’s film recognizing many of its flaws (pacing, writing, lack of chemistry, lame villain and one hell of a messy third act) can’t take much satisfaction in the numbers being as high as they were over its opening 6-day span. On the other hand, if it takes using those numbers to throw in the face of the haters, you have already lost the argument.
On July 3, the film opened to the highest single Tuesday ever by a significant margin over Transformers ($35 million vs. $27.8). A very solid number, even if that included the Monday Midnight showings which netted $7.5 million worth. Compared to Raimi’s trilogy though, $35 million for an opening day is still a fourth-place finisher. The first and third films did open on the traditional Friday to $39.4 and $59.8 million, respectively, but each as the summer’s inaugural opener in May when school was still in session. Spider-Man 2 proves a more worthy comparison as it was a pre-July 4th opener (on June 30) and marked a Wednesday opening of $40.2 million. Back in 2004. With no 3-D or IMAX surcharge.
Half-full or half-empty it was still a $35 million start. Moving on to holiday Wednesday, The Amazing Spider-Man grossed $23 million, good enough for the second highest July 4th grosser in the Spider-Man era. But is it as impressive as its predecessor, Spider-Man 2, grossing $21.9 million on the holiday? Sure, it was a Sunday but it was also its fifth day of release. Men In Black II’s second day was also July 4 and it dropped 11.3%. The Amazing Spider-Man was down 33%. Sure it had nowhere to go but down, right? Yet, Transformers actually went up 4.4% in its second day of release.
We can do this dance all day examining the daily numbers. When the smoke cleared on Amazing’s first six days its total stands at approximately $140 million. If you want to feel really great about that, we can compare it to a list of other “reboots” after their first six days.
The Amazing Spider-Man ($140 million), Star Trek ($95.0), Superman Returns ($94.5), Batman Begins ($79.5), Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($73.0), The Incredible Hulk ($70.7), X-Men: First Class ($69.8), Casino Royale ($55.7)
Hairs can be split on the precise definition of “reboot,” but not on what constitutes a comic book film.
Marvel’s The Avengers ($257.6 million), The Dark Knight ($222.1), Spider-Man 2 ($180.0), Spider-Man 3 ($176.1), Iron Man 2 ($152.8), Spider-Man ($144.1), The Amazing Spider-Man ($140)
That puts it 7th behind all the previous Spider-Man films, 27th on the all-time 6-day grossers list and just barely ahead of Brett Ratner's X-Men film. What is past is prologue (as another director with an opening this week once said) and $140 million is still a lot of dough. Sony's gambit was low-risk and they are unlikely to put the fail tag on this start even with them still needing at least a half a billion just to break even. You have to remember that Raimi's films grossed between $783 and $890 million worldwide, so Webb's film can still do $300 million less than those in the long run and still cut a profit. (It is already made another $200 million overseas.) But now begins the watch on how it holds in the coming weeks.
Signals of an "A-" Cinemascore have suggested positive word of mouth could propel it to a short-term burst before The Dark Knight Rises likely steals more than half its audience in its third weekend. The same score was given to last week's Ted as well as Madea's Witness Protection which dropped 40% & 60% in their second weekends. Seven previous "A-" films from this year (a list that includes Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, This Means War and Underworld Awakening) averaged a 2.94 multiplier from their opening weekends. With $65 million in its second three days after a $75 million midweek launch, that could put The Amazing Spider-Man at about $331 million domestically if Cinemascore really has that kind of predictive power. Only 6 films of the 26 that did better in their first six days failed to break $300 million. (Two Twilights, two Harry Potters and the first sequels to The Matrix and The Hangover.) The seemingly universally derided Spider-Man 3 could not even muster up an overall gross of twice its opening weekend (the 5th biggest in history). Its Rotten Tomatoes score is still a "fresh" 63% compared to the new one's 73%. If The Amazing Spider-Man follows along the Transformers path (which scored a full "A" and multiplied 2.05 after its first six days) it is likely to top out between $280-$300 domestically.
In other money news, there were two other films that opened this weekend. Savages is Oliver Stone’s third best opener (behind Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps & World Trade Center), but on a list of only six films that opened on more than 2000 screens. Meanwhile, Katy Perry's abridged concert film/"how great she is" documentary, Part of Me has already grossed nearly as much as Glee's concert movie ($10.2 million since its Thursday opening) and is about halfway to catching the Jonas Brothers. But isn't likely to make even half of Miley Cyrus' $65 million or maybe even a third of Justin Bieber's $73 million. Seth MacFarlane's Ted may be $15.5 million ahead of the pace of becoming the highest grossing R-rated comedy in history, but The Hangover's $277 million is still a long road ahead. Magic Mike's 60% drop may keep it from becoming Channing Tatum's third $100 million grosser of the year, but even a local tally of $98 would be 14 times more than Warner Bros. paid for it. Finally, Madagascar 3 becomes the highest grossing film in the series domestically and will be passing $200 million this week.
[Box office figures via Box Office Mojo]