Monday, May 5, 2014

‘Spidey 2’ makes solid, if not quite stellar, debut

For almost any other film, an opening weekend gross of $92 million would be considered just cause for celebration. And while execs at Sony surely aren’t wringing their hands over The Amazing Spider Man 2s debut, it's nonetheless the weakest of the five Spider-Man films (including the Sam Raimi trilogy) to date. That being said, Spidey 2 has already grossed $277 million overseas. In China, which, as the world’s second-largest film market, Hollywood insiders are watching closely, the film opened on Sunday and earned $10.4 million, the top gross ever for a workday in the region. The movie could well match its predecessor’s $460 million worldwide total.

Back here in the States, audience demographics broke down as expected: 61 percent of attendees were male and 51 percent were under the age of 25. These viewers awarded the movie a B+ CinemaScore grade, which is all right but not great; anything less than an A generally portends a quick dropoff. Some pundits are predicting a total domestic gross of $230 million or so.

With a gross far below that of Spidey 2, The Other Woman took second place at the weekend box office. The femme-targeted comedy earned $14.2 million and has raked in $47.3 million thus far. It may not be the best example of the comedic heights of which female comedians are capable, but Woman’s success does prove (once again) ladies will turn out for films that are, even vaguely, about them. (Here’s to more female offerings that do not need to be qualified by the phrase “even vaguely.”)

Third and fourth place went to Heaven is for Real ($8.7 million) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($7.7 million), respectively. With $7.6 million in earnings, Rio 2 earned the weekend’s fifth-place slot and officially crossed the $100 million mark. The animated sequel’s total now stands at $106.5 million.

The specialty division saw a solid debut for the well-reviewed Belle. Screening in four locations, the period romance opened to a $105,000 per-theatre average. Elizabeth Banks comedy Walk of Shame performed as expected, that is, not too hot: The movie earned just $38,000 from 51 theatres. It did, however, reportedly earn the top spot on iTunes for a time.

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