As the superhero-filled summer movie season kicks off, it's clear that "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is poised to have a big opening weekend. The question is just how big.
We can't say for sure until Monday, but in the meantime, here's a look at some box-office benchmarks for the Marc Webb-directed sequel, which once again stars Andrew Garfield as the wall-crawling hero Spider-Man and Emma Stone as his plucky girlfriend Gwen Stacy.
Just to spice things up, we're presenting the numbers via a Vegas-style over/under format. (We'll throw out a number, and you can formulate your own prediction whether the movie will beat it or fall short.)
Webbing up the weekend: With no other movies even opening in wide release, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is sure to dominate the weekend box office. According to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys, the movie is set to gross at least $95 million in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday.
To give some context, that would put it on par with another recent comic-book adaptation, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which opened to precisely that amount the first weekend of April, good for the biggest debut of the year so far.
Over/under: $95 million.
We say: Over. Make room, Cap.
The Spidey showdown: How will "ASM 2" stack up against the previous four "Spider-Man" movies? A straight-up comparison is tricky: The first "Amazing Spider-Man," for example, opened on a Tuesday (July 3, 2012), and took in $137 million over its first six days. The gross for its first actual weekend, though, was $62 million.
In the previous trilogy directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, "Spider-Man 2" opened over a four-day Fourth of July weekend in 2004 and grossed $116 million; its three-day total was $88 million. "Spider-Man 3" opened to $151 million in 2007, and the original "Spider-Man" opened to $115 million in 2002.
Over/under: "ASM 2" tops "ASM 1" and "Spider Man-2's" opening three-day weekends.
We say: Over (with an asterisk).
The wall-crawler's cume: Looking past opening weekend, where might "ASM 2's" total domestic gross wind up? Spidey will likely fall well short of the Caped Crusader ("The Dark Knight" made $533 million, "The Dark Knight Rises" $448 million) and the all-star team of "The Avengers" ($623 million).
Still, "ASM 2" should top "Thor: The Dark World" ($206 million) and could perhaps challenge "Man of Steel" ($291 million).
Oh the other hand, "ASM 2" will soon face competition from "Godzilla," "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and "Maleficent," and that's just this month.
Over/under: $265 million.
We say: Under (they can't all be overs).
My CinemaScore is tingling: Grades calculated by the Las Vegas-based market-research firm CinemaScore have become a shorthand for what mainstream moviegoers think of new releases. If "ASM 2" earns a strong CinemaScore -- say, a B+ or above -- it should bode well for the movie's word-of-mouth prospects. (The first "Amazing Spider-Man" scored an A-.)
We say: Over, thanks largely to Garfield's and Stone's crowd-pleasing chemistry.
Big in Japan (and Argentina, and Italy …): It's become standard practice for Hollywood tentpoles to begin rolling out overseas ahead of their U.S. releases, and "ASM 2" is no different. The movie has been out for two weeks in Britain, Israel, Uruguay and elsewhere, and for a week in places such as Japan and South Africa.
So far, "ASM 2" has racked up $155 million internationally, and that number is sure to rise as the movie continues its expansion. Each of the previous four "Spider-Man" movies has grossed more than $400 million in foreign receipts. How much will the latest installment make overseas when all is said and done?
Over/under: $500 million.
We say: Over. Spidey's gone global.
What do you think? Let us know your over/under predictions in the comments below.
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