Spider-Man Reboot Swings in to Theatres
By Bill Bonfanti
BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS FOR THE WEEKEND OF JULY 6-8
There are three new films opening in wide release this weekend: With the Fourth of July landing on Wednesday this year, Sony kicks the week off early with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man on Tuesday. Paramount releases documentary/concert film Katy Perry: Part of Me on Thursday and on Friday Universal release the latest from director Oliver Stone, Savages, starring box office poison Taylor Kitsch.
Spider-Man is one of the most popular characters of all time and although this reboot may not perform quite as well as its predecessors, a muscular box office take is all but a guarantee. The weekend number will be fairly low for this type of film due to the film opening on Tuesday, but will still likely be one of the biggest openings of the year.
Miley Cyrus had a huge hit with her 3D concert film as did Justin Bieber, but are Katy Perry’s fans as devoted? Probably not, but she has enough diehard fans to have a decent opening.
Savages marks Oliver Stone’s first gritty, violent film in almost twenty years and although that may be enticing to his biggest fans, the film will probably get swallowed up by the big summer releases. The fact that it stars Taylor Kitsch coming off of the two biggest bombs of the year (John Carter and Battleship) certainly doesn’t help. The poor guy has become the anti-Channing Tatum.
Predictions below are all for the 3 day weekend. Based on my estimates, the Top 10 will generate about $183 million over the weekend, up about 23.3% from last year when Transformers: Dark of the Moon from Paramount and Horrible Bosses from Warner Bros. led the overall Top 10 to a total of $140.4 million.
The Amazing Spider-Man
After much discourse and a highly vocal voice of detractors on internet message boards, Sony’s reboot The Amazing Spider-Man swings in to theatres. Many people have been stating that it is way too soon to reboot the successful series that was launched a mere ten years ago. Many of those are calling this a Twilight version of the character. If you focus on what those on the internet are saying, the movie is going to be a colossal failure at the box office.
The haters can hate all they want, but this film is going to perform quite well at the box office. There is one simple reason why; it is frigging Spider-Man, arguably the most popular superhero around. Sure a certain caped crusader stands proudly right next to him, but the web crawler’s appeal is much broader than the brooding Dark Knight. The Batman films cater to a far more adult audience than the Spidey films. The Amazing Spider-Man will draw in the family audience along with adults and hardcore fans of the character. This is not to say that Sony’s reboot is going to come close to the box office take of The Dark Knight Returns. The point is that family audiences are going to propel the grosses of the film despite all of the negativity from outraged fanboys.
The new origin story, as directed by Marc Webb, stars Andrew Garfield as the teenage hero and Emma Stone as his love interest, Gwen Stacy. They are joined by a strong supporting cast that includes Denis Leary, Sally Field, Rhys Ifans and Martin Sheen as the ill-fated Uncle Ben. The marketing has been everywhere for months now with trailer after trailer and clip after clip premiering on the internet. The reviews have been pretty good; certainly good enough to convince audiences to check it out. In fact, most of the negative reviews are only negative because the reviewer is against the idea of sitting through the origin story again so soon and do not actually judge the film on its own merits.
Competition for the film is rather weak at the moment, with every other big, effect driven film to have opened this summer already falling outside of the Top 10. Spider-Man need not worry about losing ticket sales to Prometheus or Men in Black 3 or Battleship or fellow Marvel stable mates The Avengers. The path is all clear for the film to dominate until July 20th when The Dark Knight Rises opens. Even then, the film will still be able to pull in family audiences for another few weeks. This Spider-Man film may not swing as high as its predecessors, but it’s going to do quite well domestically nonetheless. Worldwide is a different story altogether. Once worldwide totals are added up, The Amazing Spider-Man will likely out-spin the original films in terms of overall gross.
As we all know by now, Sony rebooted the franchise in order to retain the rights to the character which would’ve reverted back to Marvel had the property been left dormant. Many fans of the original series were outraged that Sony didn’t just continue with the original series and make Spider-Man 4. The truth is, they shouldn’t be that upset. The third film in the series wasn’t all that great. Many say it is outright terrible but the truth is it’s just not as good as the first two films. If Spider-Man 3 was the only Spidey film that existed, fans would be drooling over it. Had Sony gone ahead with Spider-Man 4, it would’ve been forced and likely been of the same quality as the third film, causing it to bomb, leading to a reboot anyway. If Sony let the rights revert back to Marvel, they also would’ve started from scratch, also leading to a reboot. One way or another, Spider-Man was headed for a reboot.
Let’s break down the numbers. The Tuesday launch for the film will obviously dilute the opening weekend take, but with this being a holiday week, the film will be packing in audiences for six days, leading to a strong debut. The first ($114.8 million opening) and third films ($151.1 million opening) opened on a Friday, setting opening weekend records, which have now been eclipsed, but Spider-Man 2 opened on a Wednesday allowing for a better comparison. The film grossed $40.4 million on its opening day and went on to collect $152.4 million over its five day debut.
The Amazing Spider-Man will likely fall short of this mark, but shouldn’t be that far behind. The last time the Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday was during the summer of 2007. Transformers opened on a Tuesday, employing the same strategy that Sony is using for their reboot. Transformers collected $150.4 million over its six day debut (including Monday night previews) and made $70.5 million over the three day portion of the weekend. This is a strong comparison for the film, simply because they both appeal to the same basic audience and both are the first in a series (albeit The Amazing Spider-Man is a reboot). Ticket price inflation and surcharges from 3D and IMAX showings should lead the film to perform slightly better that the transforming robots.
FilmGo.net anticipates The Amazing Spider-Man to collect about $35 million on Tuesday (including Monday midnights) and about $30.5 million on the Fourth followed by a $20 million Thursday. The film should uptick on Friday and Saturday, leading to $24 million and $27 million grosses respectively. Sunday drop-off should be rather limited because of all the free time people have, leading the film to collect another $22.5 million. This will lead to a six day total of about $159 million. Look for The Amazing Spider-Man to swing away with $73.5 million over the Friday to Sunday span.
Universal’s R-rated Savages is filmmaker Oliver Stone’s first violent crime thriller in about twenty years. The film stars young actors Taylor Kitsch (Battleship, John Carter), Blake Lively (Green Lantern), Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) with able support from veterans John Travolta, Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro. The film is about pot growers who face off against the Mexican cartel after their shared girlfriend is kidnapped. The cast isn’t going to do much to sell the film; Kitsch is coming off the two biggest bombs of the year, Lively co-starred in last summer’s flop Green Lantern and Johnson’s Kick-Ass didn’t exactly live up to its title at the box office. While the supporting cast is star-studded, each of these actors has had as many misses at the box office as hits. The film’s success will largely depend on Stone’s name and his return to violent cinema.
The early reviews have been mostly positive which should help the film’s cause. The adult male audience the film will likely attract definitely lends credence to the views of critics. The problem is that there are quite a few films in the marketplace that will attract adult men such as The Amazing Spider-Man and Ted and the film won’t have much of a draw outside of that demographic. Stone’s films don’t usually make that much money. They generally open between $10 and $13 million and gross a total of about $45 million. Savages should be able to achieve this, but it could also get swallowed up completely by the summer competition. Look for Savages to collect about $11 million this weekend.
Katy Perry: Part of Me
Paramount is hoping that its PG rated 3D documentary/concert film, Katy Perry: Part of Me, will set off some fireworks at the box office this weekend. Paramount released Justin Bieber: Never Say Never to great results. That film opened with $29.5 million and went on to a $73 million total. Disney’s 3D concert film Hannah Montana: The Best of Both Worlds was a huge hit as well, opening with $31.1 million ($65.3 million total). These films box office was driven by young girls, which can be a fickle audience. As easily as they propelled Hannah Montana and Justin Bieber’s concert films to success, they can just as easily cause a film like this to be a dud by not supporting it. Just ask the Jonas Brothers.
Does Perry garner this same type of support from her fans? Likely the answer is no, but the pop princess has enough fans who idolize her to make the film a modest success. Her biggest fans will show up opening weekend which will cause the film to be rather front-loaded and with the film opening on Thursday for some odd reason, the film will likely start declining as early as Saturday.
Expect Katy Perry: Part of Me to sing off with about $9 million over the weekend for a four day debut of about $13 million.
Box Office Predictions Weekly Chart
(including the rest of Bill’s weekend predictions).
Based on my estimates for the weekend, total box office will be up about 23.3% from 2011.
Source: the-numbers.com, HSX, filmgo.net, imdb.com
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