“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” ignited the summer blockbuster movie season with a dominating $92 million U.S. debut at No. 1 this weekend.
Sony’s Marvel superhero sequel starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone was even more amazing abroad, and brought in a whopping $116 million from overseas this weekend. The $208 million weekend globally brings its total at the worldwide box office to $370 million after three weeks.
“This is a terrific opening here,” Sony’s head of distribution Rory Bruer told TheWrap, “And when you put it together with the worldwide numbers, it’s really stunning.”
“Everyone worked so hard on this project, starting with the cast and director, the production team, the marketing and distribution, we put everything we had into this and it’s really rewarding,” said Bruer. “This is such an iconic character that you really don’t want to get in its way, and I think we struck the right balance,” he added.
The domestic opening is the year’s second-best, behind the $95 million April debut of another Marvel movie, Disney’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” It tops the $85.7 million that “Thor: The Dark World” opened to in November, and it blows away the $62 million that the first “Amazing Spider-Man” opened to in July 2012.
This weekend’s opening didn’t match the $114 million that the first “Spider-Man” debuted with 12 years ago, which was the first time any movie had cracked $100 million in its opening weekend. But the muscular showing by “Amazing Spider-Man 2” erases concerns about franchise fatigue and shows that Peter Parker and his alter ego remain among the heaviest hitters in the Marvel universe.
Just as importantly for Sony, the successful launch of the comic book saga with the $200 million-plus budget keeps intact the studio’s strategic plans to build a cinematic universe around the webslinger, as Disney has with the Avengers, and Warner Bros. is doing with the DC Comics characters Superman and Batman. Sony has two more Spidey movies coming in 2016 and 2018, and is developing two spin-off films based on the series’ villains.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” averaged a very strong $21,277 from 3,424 locations. It got a big boost from 354 IMAX theaters, which brought in about $9.3 million, or more than 10 percent of the grosses. All five of the top locations for “Amazing Spider-Man 2” were IMAX. And 346 Premium Large Format screens provided $6.5 million, or roughly 7 percent of the haul.
It played strongly with families, which made up 33 percent of the opening audiences. Overall, the crowd was 61 percent male and nearly even split in terms of age, with 51 percent over the age of 25.
Besides Garfield and Stone, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” features Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti and Dane DeHaan. Marc Webb returns to direct, from a script by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Jeff Pinkner and James Vanderbilt. Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad produces, along with Matt Tolmach. E. Bennett Walsh, Stan Lee, Kurtzman and Orci are executive producers.
The two runner-up films weren’t close to the leader, but both held up strongly and were off less than 40 percent from solid showings last weekend.
Sony’s faith-based drama “Heaven Is for Real” was third $8.6 million. That puts the tale of a pastor (Greg Kinnear) who backs his son after the boy claims to have seen Heaven following a near-death experience at $65 million after three weeks. That’s an impressive return on a movie with a $12 million budget.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was fourth with $7.7 million in its fifth week. That raised the domestic total for Disney’s superhero sequel to $237 million, and its worldwide total is now up to $680 million. That’s an eye-popping 83 percent over the $370 million global haul of the first “Captain America” movie.
Fox’s G-rated family film “Rio 2” was fifth with $7.6 million. It’s up to $106 million domestically and has made more than $350 million globally after four weeks.