Here are some facts, without spin. The opening $64 million weekend of “The Amazing Spider-Man” is less than that of “Spider-Man 2” by about $24 million. The $140 million it has registered since its release on Tuesday is overshadowed by the first three days of “Spider-Man 3,” at $151 million. And with even ten years of inflation and enhanced 3D prices, “The Amazing Spider-Man” has yet to have a period at all like that of the then-record-breaking $115 million opening take of “Spider-Man.” But nonetheless, these results are still a major success for Sony, and certainly they’ll be happy with that foundation laid down for what they hope will be a new trilogy of films.
Fresh new blood came on board “The Amazing Spider-Man” in the form of an up-and-coming director (Marc Webb) and two rising young leads in Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. And while the saga and backroom politics of what happened with Sam Raimi and a mooted “Spider-Man 4” is known fodder among movie geeks, the general movie public at large doesn’t care or doesn’t know. All they want is their hero in the familiar suit, fighting crime, falling in love or in this case, both. And the bottom line is, audiences seemed to love it. “The Amazing Spider-Man,” with a reported budget in the neighborhood of $200 million (not including P&A), came back with a Cinemascore of A-, which Sony hopes ensures the drop off for the second weekend won’t be too large, based on good word of mouth. The only big competition next weekend is “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” so Sony will hope for a strong second week because after that, “The Dark Knight Rises” will dominate the ticket-buying public. But all said, toss in the hefty $201 million the movie has earned overseas, and “The Amazing Spider-Man” has already made $341 million globally in less than a week. Not bad at all.
Doing booming business right behind the web-slinger was both “Ted” and “Brave.” Seth MacFarlane‘s film seemed to play to the “Family Guy” core, though it’s shown in weekend two that its appeal is clear to casual comedy buffs as well. Meanwhile, “Brave” is showing strong legs after a second weekend slump, and it should soon motor over $200 million domestic, likely finishing higher than the latest ‘Madagascar‘ and the upcoming’ Ice Age’ sequel.
Opening to middling numbers was “Savages,” though that’s still something of a victory, since it had been tracking in the high seven figures in some polls. This was pitched as a dirty, grimy crime picture for adults, but that tends to work mostly in the offseason with big stars, as Universal has already discovered this year with Denzel Washington in “Safe House” and Mark Wahlberg in “Contraband.” With those successes, the studio got a bit cocky with “Savages,” moving the release date from its originally planned September slot right to the heart of the summer, and they shouldn’t be surprised that this happened. It might have legs, but the picture collected a C+ Cinemascore and might take a heavy tumble in week two.
With everyone else pretty established, no one really takes a hit from this aside from Taylor Kitsch. For Kitsch, this is his third straight weak opener of the year. It’s funny that Hollywood pays so much attention to cost instead of visibility — “Battleship” and “John Carter” raked in $300 million and $282 million worldwide, respectively, and “Savages” could have been a big hit, even if it collected a fraction of those grosses, therefore boosting Kitsch’s career. But unless “Savages” seriously plays throughout the summer, the brief fifteen minutes of Taylor Kitsch, Blockbuster Star, have ended fairly quickly. He’s still young, devilishly handsome and reportedly a great collaborator on set, though he might have to settle for supporting roles like the one he’ll play alongside Mark Wahlberg in “Lone Survivor” shooting this fall.
“Magic Mike” took a second weekend fall, though that seems almost primarily because the film had nowhere to go but down after its opening day bonanza last week. There may not have been a more bizarre gotta-see-it phenomenon this year than the stripper tale, which is set to become Steven Soderbergh‘s fifth $100 million hit and Channing Tatum‘s third of the year. Could it be that the film struck a chord? Most summer fare is so focused on boys that whenever there is any female-centric counterprogramming, it seems condescending and stereotypical — there’s a reason no one saw “What To Expect When You’re Expecting.” So perhaps the heavily female audiences responded to the fact that this was the rare summer movie promising big, base, broad crowd-pleasing thrills while also respecting its characters. Or maybe Channing Tatum is now on top of the Hollywood food chain. Have you seen that man dance?
Both “Madea’s Witness Protection” and “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” are playing to their bases. ‘Madea’ has gathered its usual audience, while ‘Madagascar’ is also playing to those who saw the first films, though this time those grosses are 3D-enhanced, resulting in the series’ best domestic showing to date. Failing to make an impression since its Thursday release is “Katy Perry: Part Of Me.” Unlike some other recent rock docs, Perry isn’t specifically a kids’ thing, but she’s too racy for the younger set and too simplistic for the adults (some of us have seen MANY Perrys come and go), and thus she didn’t corral the same kind of frenzy that courted Justin Bieber‘s similar cheapie movie doc excursion.
The indie crowd started to invade the bottom of the top ten, with both “Moonrise Kingdom” and “To Rome With Love” playing in steady limited release. Moving from 854 to 884 theaters, ‘Moonrise’ only lost 13% of its audience and could conceivably play for a long while. ‘Rome’ was somewhat less successful in its third week — its $3 million tally is solid, though the per-screen averages suggest this anthology won’t come close to matching Woody Allen‘s “Midnight In Paris.” Support your local arthouse theater, boys and girls.
1. Sam Raimi Deserved Better (Sony) – $65 million ($140 mil.)
2. Ted (Universal) – $32.6 million ($120.2 mil.)
3. Brave (Disney) – $20.2 million ($174.5 mil.)
4. Savages (Universal) – $16.2 million
5. BEEFCAKE (WB) – $15.6 million ($72.8 mil.)
6. Tyler Perry’s I WIll Keep Making These Whether You See Them Or Not (Lionsgate) – $10.5 million ($46 mil.)
7. Madagascar 3D (Paramount/Dreamworks) – $7.5 million ($196 mil.)
8. Katy Perry: You Won’t Remember This In A Year (Paramount) – $7.2 million ($10 mil.)
9. Moonrise Kingdom (Universal/Focus) – $4.3 million ($27 mil.)
10. To Rome WIth Love (Sony Pictures Classics) – $3 million ($4.8 mil.)