With the debut of "The Amazing Spider-Man" on Tuesday, Sony Pictures has six days to prove that a reboot of its marquee superhero can still ensnare moviegoers into its web.
The Marc Webb-directed film, which stars Andrew Garfield as the web-slinger, cost a hefty $230 million to produce. Because July 4 falls on a Wednesday this year, Sony is opting for the unusual strategy of opening the film on a Tuesday in order to take advantage of the holiday crowd.
Due to its early-in-the-week debut, traditional opening-weekend comparisons are not applicable to the latest "Spider-Man" movie. However, expectations among people who have seen pre-release audience surveys are that, by Sunday, the film will collect $130 million to $150 million -- a solid, but not fantastic start.
A Sony spokesperson said the studio expects a softer debut of $110 million to $120 million.
The last time July 4 fell on a Wednesday was in 2007, when the first film in Paramount Pictures' "Transformers" series opened the prior day. By Sunday, the alien-robot action movie had grossed $155.4 million.
Overseas, "The Amazing Spider-Man" -- the fourth film in the successful $2.5-billion franchise -- launched last weekend in 13 foreign countries, collecting a strong $50.2 million. The picture performed best in South Korea.
The new film, which also features Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans, marks a risky shift for Sony. In early 2010, the studio nixed a planned fourth installment to be directed by Sam Raimi and to star Tobey Maguire.
But because of creative differences with Raimi, Sony decided instead on the rebooted version. The upcoming release retells the story of how nerdy high school student Peter Parker became an unlikely superhero -- similar to 2002's original "Spider-Man."
Hoping to capitalize on the projected success of "The Amazing Spider-Man," Sony has already scheduled a sequel for 2014.
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