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Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 topped the Friday box office with $35.5 million from 4,324 theaters for a projected North American debut in the $92 million to $97 million range, according to studio insiders.
The superhero sequel — kicking off the summer season at the box office — earned an OK B+ CinemaScore from audiences, including an A- among moviegoers under the age of 25. Amazing-Spider Man 2, banking on a strong turnout from families on Saturday, hopes to best the recent $95 million opening of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Director Marc Webb reteamed with stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone to make the $200 million-plus sequel, which features an array of new castmembers, including Jamie Foxx as the villain Electro and Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn, Spider-Man’s friend turned nemesis. Paul Giamatti plays Rhino, a third bad guy.
Comparisons to The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) are complicated since that film opened Tuesday of Fourth of July week, taking in $137 million in its first six days, including $62 million for the weekend. Amazing Spider-Man topped out at $752.2 million globally, successfully relaunching the marquee franchise post Tobey Maguire.
Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already earned more than $150 million overseas, where it began rolling out two weeks ago. It opens in another raft of markets this weekend, including in China on Sunday.
Summer almost always begins with a Marvel Comics superhero tentpole. In 2012, Marvel and Disney’s The Avengers netted an astounding $207.4 million on its first weekend in May, the highest opening of all time for any time of the year. Last year, Iron Man 3 took in $174.1 million; Thor grossed $65.7 million in 2011; and X-Men Origins: Wolverine made $85.1 million in 2009.
Spider-Man 3, debuting to $151.1 million in 2007, is the No. 3 May opener of all time after Avengers and Iron Man 3.
No other movie dared premiere nationwide opposite Amazing Spider-Man 2, but launching at the specialty box office is Fox Searchlight’s British period drama Belle, directed by Amma Asante and starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode and Emily Watson.
Fox’s femme-fueled comedy The Other Woman is holding well in its second weekend, grossing $4.8 million Friday from 3,238 theaters to come in No. 2, and pushing its domestic total to $37.9 million.
Sony’s Christian film Heaven Is for Real, placed No. 3 on its third Friday, grossing $2.4 million from 2,930 locations for a total $59 million.
Winter Soldier fell to No. 4, taking in $2.1 million from 3,179 theaters on its fifth Friday for a North American total of $231.5 million.
Fox’s Rio 2 crossed the $100 million mark on Friday, taking in $1.7 million from 2,314 locations for domestic total of $100.6 million and coming in No. 5.
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