Â In a summer full of big blockbuster movies, adaptations, sequels and threequels, you would think that Hollywood would have made some record scratch. Not so! According to the AP, attendance is running behind last summer’s and has even fallen below that of the summer of 2005. According to Media By Numbers, 279 million tickets had been sold thus far compared with 315 million at this same point in 2002.Â But this is not what was supposed to happen. Industry analysts predicted the first $4 billion summer in history,Â but we’re at the midway point and it’s not looking probable. As of this past weekend, Hollywood has made $1.9 billion since the first weekend in May. And $945 million of that number comes from just three movies (Pirates 3, Spider-Man 3, and Shrek the Third).
And there are a few biggies waiting in the bull pen: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Bourne Ultimatum, Rush Hour 3, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The Simpsons Movie and Hairspray. But as you might notice, most of them are medium sized majors, not on the same level with a Spider-Man 3. Potter is likely to make $300 million domestically, but the rest probably won’t come close.
May-be the problem is that none of the huge releases really connected with the audiences. Most of the films resulted with bad reviews and bad word of mouth. And the good flicks (Ratatouille, Once, Sicko) got buried in the mix.
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Spider-Man 3 has shattered almost all the records. According to estimates, the film took in over $148 million over it’s first weekend, beating Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($135.6 million), to become the biggest opening weekend of all time. Spidey grabbed the Friday record with $59.3 million, the saturday record with $51 million (besting Shrek 2), and if the Sunday estimate of $37.7 million is correct, it will also hold the record for biggest sunday gross of all time (again, beating Pirates 2).
Oh, but we’re not done. The film also opened on 84 IMAX screens and set a new opening weekend record with $4.8 million, besting 300 ($3.6 million).
And that’s just America. The film has already made over $227 million internationally (since May 1st), bringing the film’s grand total to $375 million!
But the fanboys are angry. It seems none of them liked the movie. Judging from the internet forums and talkbacks, you would think that everyone hated the film, but that’s clearly not true.
According to a studio survey, more than 50% of moviegoers sampled said “Spider-Man” was better than the first two films in the franchise. And the film is currently getting a very respectable 7.1 rating on the Internet Movie Database (with almost 20,000 votes thus far). And let me remind you that the first Spider-Man is getting a 7.4, so it’s not that far off.
FilmSchoolRejects has an interesting article chronicling the fanboy backlash. Although, I must warn you, they were extremely negative on the film so the article may be a little biased.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory screenwriter John August has a VERY INTERESTING article on the film’s problems from a writers perspective. One of the big things I harped on in my review was the “convenient coincidences”. August has turned this facet of the movie into a film school lesson that no aspiring screenwriter should miss.
Cinematical has an interesting article on how they could have made Spider-Man 3 better.
As we suspected yesterday, Sony is reporting that Spider-Man 3 took in $59 million in its opening day alone. This breaks the record for the biggest opening day of all time. Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest previously held the record with $55.8 million.
Spider-Man 3 is also on track to overtake Dead Man‘s biggest opening weekend of all time record of $135.6 million. The third Spidey film will now end the weekend somewhere in the ballbark of $138 to $145 million, which is just enough to beat the record.
Spider-Man 2 made $40 million on it’s opening day, and the original Spider-Man took in $43.6 million. We will have more accurate estimates on Sunday.
Early word is that Spider-Man 3 is on track to even beat Spider-Man 1‘s $114.8 record setting opening weekend box office. Af of late afternoon, the film is on track to take in around $50 million on Friday alone. As we reported earlier, over 300 of the 1,000 midnight screenings on the film were completely sold out on Thursday night. Industry analysts have been predicting an opening weekend gross somewhere between $120 and $140 million. So as of Friday afternoon, the film is on track to meet expectations. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest holds the record for biggest opening weekend of all time, with $135.6 million. As of right now, it does not appear that Spider-Man 3 will beat that number (but let me remind you, nobody expected it to).
Spider-Man 1′s final domestic take was $403.7 million ($821.7 worldwide) and Spider-Man 2 ended with around $373.5 million ($783.8 worldwide). If this was any other summer or release date, I would now predict that the film would go on to make $450 domestically, and $900 internationally. However, some analysts think that Spidey could dip in the following weeks due to the intense threequel competition.
We’ll report back later tonight or early tomorrow morning with more accurate Friday numbers.
Update: More than 300 of the approximate 1,000 Thursday midnight Spider-Man 3 show times on Fandango were sold out online.
As of 10:00am on Thursday morning, more than one hundred midnight shows for Spider-Man 3 have already SOLD OUT, according to the popular online movie ticket website Fandango.com. On top of that, many theaters (including IMAX screens) have decided to add 3:00am screenings to appease fans that need their Spidy fix. As of this morning, Spider-Man 3 has accounted for 95% of Fandango’s weekly ticket sales.
The Users of BoxOfficeMojo are predicting that the film will make #133.2 million in it’s first weekend. That number is only a few million shy of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’s record of $135.6 million.
Meanwhile, BoxOfficeGuru is predicting that the film will make “into the friendly neighborhood of $140M over the Friday-to-Sunday span this weekend.”
Spider-Man 3 is already on a monster roll, setting a bunch of overseas records in it’s first day of pre-release (note: the film will be released on Friday in the States). The film took in over $29.2 million on May 1 from it’s one day debut in just 16 overseas markets. According to THR, the film topped Spider-Man 2′s bow in the same territories by 86% ($15.6 million) and that of the original by 175% ($10.6 million).” But the biggest statistic is next:
10 of the 16 openings had the biggest opening day of all time. WOW. That’s a huge feat.
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Spider-Man 3 hits theaters this
Friday Thursday night. Sony has super-booked many theaters with 12:01 midnight screenings of the film (which will count to the Friday and weekend numbers). And we’re not talking one or two theaters, we’re talking 6 to 9 in some bigger market multiplexes. The studio is trying to stack the deck to ensure a $100-plus opening weekend. The first film took in $114 million, and Spider-Man 2 made $88 million on the first weekend. Industry analysts predict that Spider-Man 3 will top $100 million, but will not exceed Spider-Man 1‘s numbers.
The film will be released in 4253 locations, including 53 IMAX locations. This is the widest movie opening of all time, at least for a couple weeks until Shrek the Third likely takes the title.
The Asian grosses for Spider-Man 3 are bigger than both of the previous films. The latest movie earned Â¥415 million ($3.47 million) in Japan in one day, beating Spider-Man 2′s $3.43 million and Spider-Man’s $2.9 million. The film also took in 3.2 billion won in Korea ($3.46 million), and $HK7.5 million in Hong Kong ($958,984), beating the previous record holder Kung Fu Hustle.
One thing is for sure, Spider-Man 3 might be the most expensive film of all time. Some estimates go as high as $500 million after press, prints and advertising. A distribution executive at a studio thinks that Spidey might open to a huge $120 million opening (as it is an event film). But will the movie have legs? With so many huge blockbuster movies/sequels/threequels opening this Summer, some are bound to fail.
“Shrek and Pirates have broad, broad appeal,” this executive says. “With Spider-Man, the word is out that it’s dark.
I’m not sure that he doesn’t have a point.
On a side note: Chris Thilk at Movie Marketing Madness has an incredible in-depth look at Sony’s marketing of the film. You have to check this out, it’s Chris’ most in depth article to date. It’s like 10 pages long, and well worth the read.
Before you see Spider-Man 3 this Friday, catch up on the comic history behind the movie. HeroHunt has compiled a list of important comic book moments that helped to inspire the third Spidey film. Sure, the continuity in some (probably most) cases has changed, but don’t let that stop you from knowing the geeky origins of all the characters and events in Spider-Man 3.
- First Appearance: Sandman – Amazing Spider-Man #4, Sep. 1963
- First Appearance: Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn – Amazing Spider-Man #31, Dec. 1965
- Harry Osborn becomes The Green Goblin – Amazing Spider-Man #136, Sep. 1974
- The return of the burglar who killed Uncle Ben – Amazing Spider-Man #200, January 1980
- First Appearance: Spider-Man’s black costume – Amazing Spider-Man #252, May 1984
- Spidey’s black costume is revealed to be a symbiote – Amazing Spider-Man # 258, Nov. 1984
- First Appearance: Venom – Amazing Spider-Man #299, Apr. 1988 and Amazing Spider-Man #300, May 1988
Check out the full list of comic books at HeroHunt.
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