Estimates have The Amazing Spider-Man finishing the weekend atop the movie box-office standings, raking in $65 million in U.S. and Canadian sales. Overall, it has grossed $140 million since its U.S. release on July 3.
The figures, to be finalized Monday, indicate a comparatively big success for the rebooted Spider-Man franchise: The last film in the previous comic book-inspired trilogy came out five years ago.
In replacing Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, Andrew Garfield was appealing enough to fans to lead the new movie over Oliver Stone's Savages, which features stars such as Blake Lively, John Travolta, and Taylor Kitsch. Savages finished its first week in theaters in fourth place with a gross take of $16 million -- behind The Amazing Spider-Man, Ted, and Brave, and above Magic Mike.
Thanks to a strong $7.5 million start on Tuesday, The Amazing Spider-Man eclipsed Sony's expectation for the film, which was $130 million in domestic sales during its first six days. (By one accounting, this gives Garfield and co-star Emma Stone more than $10 million in goodwill among Sony executives.) Since the movie's release, its ticket sales have been $341.2 million worldwide, including $201.6 million in 70 foreign markets, according to Reuters.
The total budget for The Amazing Spider-Man was $230 million, quite a bit more than the $45 million allotted for Savages.
Meanwhile, Box Office Mojo reported that Ted pulled in a little more than $32 million over the weekend, down 40.1 percent from its first weekend at the box office.
Stone was one draw for the audience, 42 percent of whom were women, according to TheWrap. She replaced Kirstin Dunst's Mary Jane as Peter Parker's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Stone and Garfield, who is best known for playing Mark Zuckerberg's sidekick in The Social Network, are also dating in real life.
With that symmetry between the fictional and the nonfictional, it probably shouldn't be a surprise that Spidey's debut was so much stronger than Savages. Based on a Don Winslow novel, that film is about two brothers (played by Kitsch and Aaron Johnson) who work together growing pot and eventually wind up looking down the barrel of a gun in a standoff with Mexican cartel members.
It's a shame box-office numbers aren't adjusted for teenage boys buying a ticket for movies they're old enough to see only to sneak into a bloodbath like Savages. That movie also surprised studio executives, Universal penciled it in for $10 million during the opening week.
Blake Lively has been praised for her performance in the film, which is a far cry from her role on the teen show Gossip Girl. Lively does double duty as the film's narrator as well as playing the girlfriend of both the Kitsch and Johnson characters. She's been the brightest spot of the mixed reviews.
A.O. Scott of The New York Times calls the movie a hodgepodge of a daylight noir, a western, a stoner buddy movie, and a love story...a bit of a mess. But also a lot of fun, especially as its pulp elements rub up against some gritty geopolitical and economic themes.
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter calls Savages a return to form for Stone while Amy Biancolli of the San Francisco Chronicle declared it Flashy, violent, and utterly dull. Sixty-nine percent of Rotten Tomatoes voters liked it, compared to The Amazing Spider-Man's 84% approval rating.