The first weekend of May means the kickoff of the summer movie season, and usually a superhero movie kicks things off (last year brought Iron Man 3 and the year before was The Avengers). This year brought us the fifth cinematic outing for Spider-Man and the second outing in the new Marc Webb-directed iteration, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. As was expected, the film was the number 1 movie of the weekend by a substantial margin, taking in $92 million and bringing its overall worldwide gross to $277 million. However, even though it’s the third highest opening film in the franchise and a good opening overall, it suggests that the mixed reviews for this installment and general audience fatigue with the character are coming into play – Sam Raimi’s first and third installments in the franchise opened the same weekend in 2002/2007 and made $114 and $151 million, respectively. It remains to be seen whether part 2 will match the $262 million made by its predecessor, but it seems unlikely.
As no one wants to compete with the first major summer blockbuster, obviously, the only other new film choices were in the indie world, and there was good news and bad news on that front. The good news was for the Fox Searchlight release Belle, the story of the mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy officer navigating the Jane Austen-y world of upper class England. It opened on 4 screens and took in $105,000, a solid $26,250 per-screen average. The film will slowly roll out in the major markets in the coming weeks and may manage to keep up those number with its unique story. On the other side of the coin was the Elizabeth Banks comedy Walk of Shame, which opened in 51 locations but only made $38,000, a paltry $745 per-screen average. That doesn’t tell the whole story, since the film was simultaneously released on demand and is currently number 1 on iTunes, but the bad reviews seem to have kept audiences away from seeing it in theaters.
The older releases all did about as expected, slowly easing off with no major drops. The Other Woman fell to second place with $14.2 million for the weekend and $47 million overall, putting it above the production budget. Heaven is For Real continues its successful run in third place with $8.7 million for the weekend and $65.6 million overall, putting it ahead of God’s Not Dead in overall gross. And Captain America fell to fourth with $7.6 million and $237 million overall, suggesting that it will settle in the high 200’s with its final domestic gross.