Swinging start for 'Spider-Man' at box office

6:50 AM, Jul 9, 2012   |    comments
Actor Andrew Garfield arrives for the premiere of Sony Pictures 'The Amazing Spider-Man' in Los Angeles, California, on June 28, 2012. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)
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(USA TODAY) -- The Amazing Spider-Man snared an easy win at the box office this weekend, though the web-slinger slowed after his blistering start, when the film earned $35 million Tuesday.

The reboot of the Sam Raimi franchise made $65 million this weekend, according to studio estimates from box-office trackers Hollywood.com.

The $200 million film has made $140 million since its release Tuesday, a solid debut for the new franchise.

Analysts expecting a larger weekend speculated that the poor critical reception of Spider-Man 3, which opened to $151 million in 2007 but was savaged by reviewers and fans of the character, muted response to this film.

"Audiences who let Spider-Man 3 open to $151 million in three days are looking at The Amazing Spider-Man and shrugging their shoulders at it," says Tim Briody of Boxofficeprophets.com.

Even in the era of huge numbers, it's hard to scoff at $65 million, Briody says. "But you still come away with the feeling that there was money left on the table here. Not to mention that its long-term prospects aren't looking so hot."

Still, Spidey has two weeks to plunder at the box office until The Dark Knight Rises arrives July 20 to expected huge numbers.

Steve Elzer, senior vice president of media relations for distributor Sony Pictures, call Spider-Man's opening "a truly spectacular start, especially in the world of relaunched franchises." He says the film has made $341 million worldwide, which includes domestic grosses.

Elzer also notes that Chris Nolan's 2005 Batman Begins, a reboot of that franchise, made $79.5 million in its first six days. That film would go on to make $205 million, followed by 2008's The Dark Knight, which became the fourth-highest-grossing film on record with $533 million.

Though no release date has been set for a sequel, screenwriters have been working on a new Amazing Spider-Man installment for months, says producer Matt Tolmach.

"We love this story," he says. "There are many to be told. We'd like to be making a Spider-Man movie every two years."

Ted, the comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, fell to second place with $32.6 million, followed by Pixar's Brave with $20.2 million.

Another major newcomer, Oliver Stone's drama Savages, made $16.2 million, beating most projections and taking fourth place. The male-stripper story Magic Mike rounded out the top 5 with $15.6 million.

Final figures are due Monday.

(Scott Bowles, USA TODAY)

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