Summer blockbuster season is upon us, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the first to swing out of the gates as Sony debuts its follow-up to their 2012 franchise reboot in 4,324 theaters. Peter Parker and his army of villains have the skies to themselves this weekend too. No one dared attempt open against the comic book juggernaut (and soon to be mega-franchise). But the bar is still high thanks to the record-breaking successes of Sam Raimi’s first three (which made over $1 billion domestically) and the lower but still incredibly high-grossing Amazing Spider-Man ($262 million domestic).
Here’s how things might play out:
1. The Amazing-Spider Man 2 – $99 million
Though it likely won’t reach the heights of the opening weekends of Raimi’s first three, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan, is the one to beat as fans start turning out for Thursday night showings to see what happens to our spandexed arachnid in what’s being sold as his “greatest battle.” The first opened over the Fourth of July, bringing in $62 million in that first weekend (July 6-8). The charismatic stars have been on an exhaustive (albeit endlessly entertaining) publicity push for weeks on top of an aggressive marketing campaign. Awareness is not a problem, and tracking suggests that families are particularly interested in flocking to the theaters this weekend to see one of the comics world’s most iconic characters. The film has already taken in $155 million overseas, adding to the domestic hype around this new installment in the Spidey-verse despite mixed reviews. It will likely open similar to Cap 2‘s April $95 million opening.
2. The Other Woman — $15 million
The blonde babes of Fox’s The Other Woman punched Captain America to the sidelines (well, second place) last weekend. The $40 million revenge comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton has brought in nearly $29.3 million after five days in theaters. Combined with a worldwide total of $20.5 million (nearly half of which is from Australia grosses), The Other Woman looks poised to have a good run. In her B- review, EW’s Leah Greenblatt wrote: “It’s like Bridesmaids drawn in crayon.” That film, often credited with reminding the industry of the box office viability of female-driven comedies, had a similar mid-$20 millions opening in 2011 and only dropped 20 percent in its second weekend. But The Other Woman doesn’t have nearly as much goodwill going for it, and is more likely drop in the 35 to 40 percent range.
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier — $8 million
Cap is on the steady decline after four weekends in theaters boasting a domestic total of $228.5 million ($648.8 worldwide), far surpassing the first film’s total grosses (after 16 weeks in theaters). But, it’ll probably drop another 50 percent this weekend, because, you know, Spidey and whatnot.
4. Heaven is for Real — $7 million
Sony’s $12 million tale of a kid who believes he’s been to heaven and his Pastor father continues to perform well as it enters its third weekend in theaters, but the Christian film could see a steeper 50 percent fall. It has already made more than March’s surprise modern day Christian-themed hit God’s Not Dead (which never played in more than 2,000 theaters) and will pass Son of God ($59.6) this weekend, too.
5. Rio 2 – $6 million
Fox’s Rio 2 will pass $100 million in its fourth weekend in theaters. The first film played in theaters for 21 weeks and grossed $143.6 million. It’s doing phenomenally well overseas, too, with over $247 million in earnings.
Limited release openings include Fox Searchlight’s Belle, a period piece about a mixed race woman (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) brought up as an aristocrat in 18th century England, which opens in four theaters. Also opening on 50 screens is Focus Feature’s Elizabeth Banks comedy Walk of Shame, about a woman trekking across L.A. sans phone, car or money to try to make an important job interview.
Check back in to EW.com this weekend for estimates and analysis