With a $92 million U.S. debut that was enough to place it at the top of the box office—but which becomes less impressive once you compare it to its predecessors and competitors—The Amazing, But With Some Qualifiers Spider-Man 2 technically dominated this weekend. But it’s when you begin measuring it against past Spider-Mans and other Marvel movies that have opened in May that its victory feels short-lived, like that of an overscheduled superhero.
The last Amazing Spider-Man got a head start on a Fourth of July weekend, so it’s not an apples to spider-apples comparison. As Box Office Mojo notes, it’s best measured against Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3—both of which also opened during the first weekend of May, both of which outperformed ASM2, even with their lower ticket prices and no 3-D upcharges. And once you measure it, in “real dollars” adjusted for inflation, against the many other Marvel movies that have kicked off the summer, ASM2 is near the bottom of the list, just ahead of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Possibly making for poor word of mouth, it’s also the worst-reviewed Spider-Man film yet—even worse than the one where Tobey Maguire dresses up as Pete Wentz, then dances like he’s in a Heineken commercial.
Still, as we’ve learned time and again, critical opinion increasingly matters as little as America’s input on a film’s box office, and a sequel with a continent’s worth of villains and subplots fittingly had a huge global reach. ASM2 has already taken in $277 million worldwide, and it’s broken records in nations like India and China who can relate to its themes of being overwhelmed by way too many people. So, definitely don’t worry about the future of a franchise that’s already been predetermined to spawn at least two more sequels and an untold number of spinoffs.
Elsewhere in the Top 10, Jesus finally bested his fellow immortal foe Captain America, with Heaven Is For Real remaining at third place while Winter Soldier was pushed down to fourth, supplanted at second place by The Other Woman. And in limited release, the simultaneous debut on VOD and in 51 theaters for Walk Of Shame earned the Elizabeth Banks comedy $38,000; the bleak Polish drama Ida drew $50,000 in just three theaters; NOW: In The Wings On A World Stage garnered $21,500 from Kevin Spacey/Shakespeare buffs/people who thought they were purchasing a collection of today’s hottest showtunes; and Decoding Annie Parker earned $14,700 from people who’d been waiting for the cinematographer of Corky Romano to break out on his own.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.