The July 4th weekend starts early this year, with Sony's reboot (and Marc Webb directed) The Amazing Spider-Man
hitting North American theaters at midnight, July 3rd. The estimated 215 million dollar budgeted tentpole Blockbuster looks to pick-up where (or, rather, re-up) where Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire's record-setting franchise left off, casting Andrew Garfield (of The Social Network
fame, primarily) as the photographer-turned-web-slinger and Emma Stone as the central love-interest (I feel comfortable in making that assessment being the extent of her role). If the credentials seem a little underwhelming, they should, and thus far, Sony has to be sweating bullets at the early box office indications. Not having cracked the Top 5 on Fandango a mere four-days before release is a potential disaster for a 200+ million venture (also with reports of non-existent midnight sales), especially when the flick has only a short window (roughly 17 days) to make some money before The Dark Knight Rises
smashes any-and-all competition in its way. The marketing has focused heavily on the visuals and character arcs - not a bad choice, but with two other superhero juggernauts (the other being The Avengers
, of course) book-ending the summer slate, The Amazing Spider-Man
seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place. Spidey might get tangled in his own web of irrelevance, especially since the reboot has done little to differentiate itself from Raimi's original. Reviews have been mostly positive (if only modestly so), but many critics are indeed pointing out the sense of deja vu that will inevitably linger over this reboot's head, coming a mere decade later following the first entry. The lowest total haul for a previous entry was Spider-Man 3
's 336 million. Webb's version is much more likely to follow the dreaded path of Superman Returns
, it would appear, and could struggle to clear 200M total domestic (though it will likely be able to clip that mark).
Official Box Office Predictions for The Amazing Spider-Man
Opening Day: 18.3M
Opening Weekend: 56M
First Six Days: 95.5M
Total Gross: 211M
One thing that's hurting midnight sales is the Monday release date. Who watches midnight movies on Monday -- especially when one considers the following Tuesday is still a work day?ReplyDelete
There's a chance the movie could be this year's "X-Men First Class" -- another comic book movie franchise reboot initially greeted with underwhelming enthusiasm, only to take off due to great reviews by critics. I've heard Andrew Garfield is excellent as the new Peter Parker. Less mopey like Maguire was and more cavalier, reflecting the John Romita Sr. illustrations of the character vs. the clearly Steve Ditko inspired take that Sam Raimi was interested in.
And yes, there's also the fact that TDKR is rolling down the pike. I'm not sure how a Ledger-less Batman sequel will do, and it seems like the public's enthusiasm for that one isn't as great as I thought. Public opinion seems to be shifting away from dark and hyper real superhero films like "The Dark Knight," to brightly lit, shallow-end fantasy like "The Avengers."
You are completely wrong about "The Dark Knight Rises," Joe. Completely wrong. Not only will TDKR easily break HP7p2's midnight record of 43.5 million, it will have close to a 100 million opening day and around a 210-220 million opening weekend, topping "The Avengers" recent record, though I'm unsure if TDKR will top "The Avengers" in total gross (it certainly won't at the international box office).ReplyDelete
I'm not sure how closely you follow box office and its trends, but TDKR has been on the Fandango Top 5 ever since tickets went on sale Monday, June 11th. It has sold out nearly every IMAX midnight in the country (sans smaller areas, but alas, there are still 20 days to go) and many Friday locations (especially IMAX) are already booked. Not just a "Batman sequel," but the end to Nolan's trilogy, the hype and anticipation for this is exponential, with tickets for IMAX midnight on EBAY being listed for upwards of $150. Sell-outs galore, all around. Not sure what you're seeing that's making you think otherwise.
Also, with regard to Monday midnights - isn't Friday also typically a workday? It's the summer. Kids don't have school/work. Especially teenagers, who are the core demographic for this (or better be, since adults just flocked in droves to theaters this weekend). Furthermore, your argument doesn't really work since Wednesday is July 4th - not a work day. I suspect many people have Tuesday and Wednesday off. Even if it were a workday though - we're talking about a 215 million dollar, Mega-Blockbuster. The X-Men films never made anywhere close to the cash Raimi's franchise did. I think Sony's expectations were through the roof when they greenlit, but signs so far are pointing to apathetic audiences who are likely experiencing more than a glancing blow of deja vu.ReplyDelete
Fandango is a good early indicator for certain kinds of theatergoers. People with disposable income who don't mind dropping an extra 2-3 dollars on movie tickets use this service. That said, there are lots of people who never use the service. Mainly the folks who only see one or two movies a year and are the ones who mainly drive the top 3 box-office earners within a year would never use Fandango.ReplyDelete
Don't get me wrong, Clay - I WANT to be wrong about TDKR. My enthusiasm for that franchise could not be higher. I hope the film makes 4 billion dollars worldwide and snags the record back from Avengers. But aside from opening weekend grosses from fans curious to see how the saga concludes, I am not so sure the film will have the same staying power as its predecessor. I won't be surprised if it sees a steep drop in its second weekend pull. Its IMAX numbers are inflated simply because it was shot on IMAX and will appeal to IMAX enthusiasts like myself. I will be driving out to DC in order to see it projected on actual IMAX film stock (Fuck DIG-IMAX).
As for Midnight Mondays not appealing to a lot of people, it's all about mentalities. Most working folks will get Wednesday and Thursday off instead of Tuesday and Wednesday. In terms of programming, Mondays simply don't work as movie nights. Along with Tuesdays, they are the lowest grossing nights of the weeks in theaters. It's simply a matter of audience psychology. Fridays are workdays, but it's usually the day when working stiffs wrap up their work week so staying up late to watch a movie is not as big of a deal as it would be if you stayed up on Monday.
I am hosting a midnight premiere party for ASM and most people are baffled and complaining that it's on a Monday.
One important note: ASM has already beaten Avengers and TDK during its release in Asia over the past weekend.
If you're concerned about TDKR's longevity - I could get on board. As I said, I'm not sure whether it will be able to cross 600M domestic since, like with Prometheus, there's a rabid group of folk who just can't fucking wait and everyone else is, generally, apathetic. Obviously, TDKR's list of enthusiastic peeps is far greater than Prometheus, so it should go tow-to-toe with The Avengers for the opening weekend record.ReplyDelete
Spidey is...well, we'll see. However, as with Battleship, sometimes stellar foreign grosses don't lead to domestic success. Asia can be especially misleading (for domestic success, that is). Signs point to a lack of significant interest. Is it likely to go sub-100M over six-days as I've said? Perhaps not, but I don't see any reason why it couldn't - I think viewers are getting a bit more demanding of their films - at least, they won't shell out the cash unless it offers something especially novel. ASM doesn't really seem to do that, at all...