Spider-Man's new movie may have three major villains, but it has no rivals at the box office as it kicks off the summer season.
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2," the sequel to the 2012 franchise reboot, is expected to gross at least $95 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada through Sunday, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
The new film from Sony Pictures has a chance to be the biggest domestic opening of the year so far, but to do so it will have to exceed the $95-million launch of Marvel Studios' "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."
For the sequel, Andrew Garfield returns as the titular character Peter Parker, and Emma Stone reprises her role as love interest Gwen Stacy. The hero with arachnid-like powers faces a trio of super villains: Electro (Jamie Foxx), Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and Rhino (Paul Giamatti). Its production budget has been estimated at $200 million to $250 million.
The movie has earned mixed reviews, indicated by a score of 57% "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes as of Thursday. It was directed by Marc Webb, previously best known for making the 2009 indie hit "(500) Days of Summer."
The web-slinging hero has been a reliable draw at the box office since 2002's "Spider-Man," directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, took in $404 million over its lifespan in the U.S. and Canada and is still the highest-grossing Spider-Man film, domestically. The four Spider-Man films have generated a total of nearly $3.4 billion worldwide.
Sony is hoping to top the delivery of the first "Amazing Spider-Man," which hauled in a total of $262 million in the United States and Canada and $490 million from overseas. It's difficult to compare the three-day debut of "Amazing Spider-Man 2" with that of its predecessor, which debuted wide at home on a Tuesday and brought in $137 million in ticket sales over six days.
A $95-million start for the new movie, while strong, would not be the biggest kickoff from a Spider-Man film. "Spider-Man 3" opened to $151 million in 2007, and "Spider-Man 2" grossed $116 million over the four-day July Fourth weekend in 2004. The 2002 "Spider-Man" grossed $115 million in its three-day takeoff.
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" should continue a strong run from big-budget movies based on comic book franchises. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has grossed nearly $650 million worldwide thus far and held the top spot on the U.S. box-office charts for three weeks before the Cameron Diaz comedy "The Other Woman" unseated it last weekend. "The Other Woman" grossed $24.8 million in its opening.
"Spider-Man" is off to a robust start overseas, having already generated $160 million in ticket sales after opening in multiple countries starting in mid-April.
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