Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

May 6, 2014

Get the Hell off my court, loser.

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Kim Hollis: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 debuted with $91.6 million in three days of North American release. It has also already earned $277 million overseas. What do you think of its numbers so far?

Brett Ballard-Beach: I feel like each of my assertions should be countered with an "and but so." The overseas numbers are great and there is no reason to think this will earn any less internationally than ASM1. On the domestic front: Compared to openings so far this year, it's in the spectacular wheelhouse. Compared to superhero movie openings in the last year, it's respectable. For a franchise that began 12 years ago by setting the opening weekend record, it's disappointing on the fast track to disconcerting. From $403 million to $373 million to $336 million to $263 million, the Spider-Man franchise is on a downward incline in North America, and this isn't going to reverse that trend. It has the worst Rotten Tomatoes aggregate rating of any film in the series thus far (believe it or not, it is the first rotten one) and if it pops much past $200 million I will be surprised. As we often say, the second weekend will be key but at this point, I am thinking the gap between this and Neighbors is going to be shockingly small and ASM2 may not finish on top.

Edwin Davies: I'm pretty mixed on these results for many of the same reasons that Brett listed. In terms of 2014 box office, it's the second highest opening of the year and any film that opens to more than $90 million is doing pretty damn well. And for the fifth film in a franchise to do this well suggests a great deal about the enduring appeal of Spider-Man as a character, both in America and overseas, where his popularity has not diminished, but grown considerably.


However, when compared to its predecessors, this suggests that the bloom is off the rose and that people are pretty ambivalent about the rebooted version of the character. The mid-week opening of the first Amazing Spider-Man makes it hard to do a direct comparison, but it shot under the first Raimi film by almost $20 million, bearing in mind that film was released 12 years ago with lower ticket prices and no extra 3D surcharge, and the third by almost $60 million. That's not an encouraging progression by any stretch of the imagination, and suggests that the Amazing Spider-Man series is very much the Hobbit to the Spider-Man's Lord of the Rings at this point: Any success it achieves is through familiarity rather than any real merit. Familiarity will carry you a long way, though, and with international grosses the studio will probably still make out okay, even if it seems destined to be the lowest grossing Spider-Man film to date.

Bruce Hall: Sony is going to keep churning out Spider-Man movies at regular intervals for the indefinite future because they have to if they're interested in keeping the rights to the franchise. So I'm not sure they're looking at this result strictly in comparison to the other franchise entries as much as they're hoping to make enough money to justify its overall existence.

I'd say they've done that, and then some. Domestic interest in the title may be waning, and 10 years ago that might have been cause for alarm. But worldwide results have remained quite strong; more than enough to guarantee that whether you're still interested in him or not, Spider-Man's not going anywhere for quite a while yet.

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