Saturday, June 23, 2012

Early thoughts on The Amazing Spider-Man

To me, the three franchises - Spider-Man, Shrek, and Pirates of the Caribbean - are always closely linked to each other in term of box office analysis. It is not just because their third films all came out within a month of each other in 2007, but also that I have been able to predict a film's box office potential from one franchise based on the previous performance of one from another franchise with good success (the one I'm most fond of is the $135m opening weeknd prediction on Dead Man's Chest after an analysis using Shrek 2). So the main question for The Amazing Spider-Man, as the fourth installment of its franchise, is that if it could avoid the fate bestowed on Shrek Forever After and On Stranger Tides, where they saw a decline of 26% and 22% from their respective predecessor's totals. The Amazing Spider-Man is somewhat different in that the film is more of a reboot with a new set of cast, but the question remains valid, and my feeling is a similar decline is in store.

There are a lot of similarities between The Amazing Spider-Man, Shrek Forever After, and On Stranger Tides. All of them are 3D, while none of their previous films is. Their previous films, the third one of each franchise, all received lukewarm word-of-mouth. Spider-Man is more similar to Shrek in that their first two films both gathered excellent word-of-mouth, unlike Pirates of Caribbean where the general reviews fell off from the 2nd film on. On the other hand, Pirates' box office feels a little more resistent to mediocre reviews, as indicated by the good run Dead Man's Chest enjoyed and the smaller drop off On Stranger Tides experienced. Overall, I feel The Amazing Spider-Man will see a decline in total that is closer to what Shrek Forever After had, which would put it at $250m.

From $250m total, we could then try to deduct how much of it will come from the opening week. Two good comparisons would be Transformers and Spider-Man 2. The former was facing the same calendar 5 years with Independence Day falling on Wednesday and opened on the exact same day (Jul 3rd, although it ended up pushing the release up another 4 hours); it grossed $155.4m over its first 6 days, 48.7% of its eventual total. The latter also opened on the holiday frame and had a 6-day start of $180.1m, 48.2% of its total. Both of those films enjoyed good word-of-mouth, so even though the early reviews for The Amazing Spider-Man are quite positive, I do not expect the percentage for the first 6 days to be lower for it. If anything, it would likely be a good bit higher with The Dark Knight Rises staring right at its face in two weeks, something neither of the other two had to deal with. A 52% would translate to a $130m 6-day start.

If we would like to break down the opening week further, Transformers, a non-sequel, saw $70.5m of its $155.4m (45.4%) coming from the weekend. The Amazing Spider-Man should be slightly more frontloaded, especially with the midnight culture is a lot more intense now than 5 years ago. A 42% would put its weekend at around $55m.

So my current thought:

Opening Tues-to-Thurs - $75m
Opening Weekend - $55m
Opening 6-day - $130m
Domestic Total - $250m


  1. Fantastic analysis Xia. I'm locking in 250 now. :)


  2. Solid write-up, Xia. I disagree with a few points and feel like $250m+ is pushing on a high-end range for the film, but you're reasoning is definitely sound. The lack of a kid-friendly pace has me concerned, especially with all of the competition surrounding it.