THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (Sony) launched with 7PM screenings last night and earned $8.7M, which was considerably below expectations. Although Amazing 2 topped the opening night for the first Amazing, that one started on a Tuesday (of July 4th week), so comparisons aren’t apples-to-apples. The more applicable comparison may be that Amazing 2 started 15% behind the Thursday night screenings of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which kicked off with $10.2M and a $95M weekend just a few weeks ago. It’s above the $7.1M for Thor 2 last November, but Spider-Man is supposed to be at a higher level of franchise than Thor (the first Amazing made $752.2M worldwide, compared to $449.3M for the first Thor, and even with its post-Avengers bump, Thor 2 was at $644.8M worldwide). A $90M weekend and $225M US total (midway between Thor 2 and Winter Soldier) would be considered somewhat disappointing for Amazing 2, especially since early international returns aren’t showing much of a bump from the first Amazing.
It’s early, of course, and Sony is spreading the spin that Amazing Spider-Man will draw families and have a supersized Saturday that will lifts its weekend total. Still, this isn’t the way Sony–or the other studios, for that matter–wanted the crucial summer movie season to start.