Box Office Preview: ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Swings in for Easy Victory

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Like the web-slinger himself, Marc Webb’s big budget superhero flick has deftly dodged all obstacles thrown in its way so far as it prepares to swing into the top slot at the box office. Despite a slew of lukewarm reviews from critics, as well as some pieces that portray the film as a microcosm of all that is wrong with modern blockbusters (not that superhero films yield for critical feedback anyway), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will easily swat competition this week.

Even the least impressed critics have offered some praise for the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, which adds a thread of romance in the epic-action yarn. (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also features Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx as a nerd-turned-blue-CGI-villain with electricity surging through his body, though his performance hasn’t been as well-receieved.) The year’s other big Marvel movie, Captain America: The Winter Solider, was dethroned last week by The Other Woman. But unlike the Captain, Spider-Man isn’t part of the Marvel film universe. It’s ostensibly immune to the house-style aesthetics that permeate (and plague) the Marvel movies.

The first film in the second Spider-Man trilogy earned less than the second and third installments in Sam Raimi’s lauded trilogy, but with $750 million-plus in worldwide revenue (according to Box Office Mojo), it’s the highest grossing reboot of all time (a statistic deserving of a critical essay, methinks.) The film channels the iconic Spider-Man arc “The Night Gwen Stacey Died,” issues 121-122 of Amazing Spider-Man, one of the most acclaimed and influential runs in mainstream comics history. Comic aficionados will be tuning in — if only to bemoan the film for inevitably screwing up something about the Gwen Stacey story.

The movie is the first production to be filmed entirely in New York State (production moved upstate for a chase scene because speed limits are more lax there.) Dumbo, Brooklyn residents might remember the neighborhood being blocked off this past summer as a stuntman swung from the Manhattan Bridge. Williamsburg also witnessed some chaos when production blocked off streets on a Jewish holiday.

Spidey won’t have much competition this week, as The Other Woman isn’t likely to deter too many viewers from their insatiable superhero needs. Tony Jaa’s The Protector 2 isn’t exactly blockbuster material (it has subtitles), and Captain America 2 has been slowing after a strong month-long run. Next week, Neighbors will aim to draw the 18-40 crowd, with a shirtless Zac Efron and an equally shirtless but considerably less buff Seth Rogen starring as warring neighbors; the former a frat boy and the latter a father and husband.

But the film, helmed by the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, isn’t likely to dent Spider-Man‘s momentum. Spidey should be flying high until May 9 when the uber-hyped Godzilla reboot arrives. Internet chatter suggests a big opening weekend, and early buzz and favorable reviews can keep the film going into the beginning of the summer swell.

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