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Sony's new 'Spider-Man' poised for amazing opening

June 20, 2012|By John Horn
  • "The Amazing Spider-Man," due out July 3, already is generating robust audience interest, moviegoer surveys show.
"The Amazing Spider-Man," due out July 3, already is generating… (Sony Pictures Entertainment )

Early fan interest in Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” looks to be just that — amazing.

Audience surveys circulating around Hollywood this week show that the web-slinger reboot is generating a level of excitement reserved for only a handful of the summer’s biggest hits. Even though “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which overhauls the creative team behind the first three movies, doesn’t open until July 3, potential ticket buyers — even young women — already are more interested in the superhero story than they are in “Brave,” which will premiere this weekend to as much as $65 million.

One rival marketing executive estimated that given the tracking numbers, “The Amazing Spider-Man” could sell more than $150 million in its first six days of release, a time period that includes the Fourth of July holiday. Sony declined comment.

Data from one polling company showed that Sony’s film is sparking very strong “definite interest” and “first choice” responses from every demographic group except older women. Tellingly, “The Amazing Spider-Man” has more support among all men and younger women than both “Brave” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” which also open this weekend.

Equally impressive, the earliest reviews for the film, mostly from London, have been highly favorable.

Sony’s last three “Spider-Man” films were global blockbusters, selling nearly a combined $2.5 billion in tickets around the world. But the studio was concerned that a fourth movie with the same creative team, owing to escalating budgets and hefty profit-participation deals, would be financially risky.

So original director Sam Raimi was replaced by Marc Webb, who made the hit indie romantic comedy “(500) Days of Summer,” while Peter Parker (formerly Tobey Maguire) is now played by Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”). Like the first “Spider-Man” movie, released in 2002, the new production is an origin story, focusing on how Parker became the wall-climbing crime-fighter.

But even with the new team, “The Amazing Spider-Man” wasn’t cheap to make, costing $230 million because of elaborate action scenes and visual effects.

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