The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually opened in 14 overseas markets this weekend. It opened in the UK on Wednesday and more markets over the long Easter weekend. By the time the film opens in America on May 2nd, it will already be playing in much of the world. As such, this “opening weekend” is hopefully just a portion of the eventual money it will make by the time it’s done with its worldwide theatrical release. But as we get more and more major blockbusters going not just early overseas (like maybe the week before their domestic debuts) but very early (2.5 weeks in this case), we’ll get a better idea of what, if any, concrete math can be done with these targeted overseas debut weekends. For the moment, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 earned $47 million in just 14 territories, including $2.3m in 50 IMAX screens alone. Come what may, that’s a very good number.
According to Sony , the opening was similar to that of The Amazing Spider-Man in the relatively similar territories and well above Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The film earned $15 million in the UK and Ireland, where the Easter holiday weekend was arguably the reason for the uber-early debut. It was the biggest opening of 2014 in those territories. Mexico, where Noah launched a week early last month, launched with an estimated $11.1m. That’s the biggest bow in Mexico this year and 26% larger than Captain America 2. Germany debuted with $6.2m, 70% larger than Captain America 2 while, Australia opened with $5.2m and Spain had a solid $3.9m debut. Also included are Sweden ($1.1m), Belgium ($0.94m), Denmark ($0.875m), Switzerland ($0.565m), and Austria ($0.55m). According to Sony, the numbers were noticeably higher than Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Next week is Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, and 21 more markets. May 2nd will finally see the film’s American debut.
The comparisons that should be tossed about are the $75 million overseas debut for Walt Disney's DIS -1.71% Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the $51 million debut for the first Amazing Spider-Man, both of which opened in quite a few more markets the week prior to their domestic debuts. In terms of uber-early debuts, the precedent-setter was of course Universal’s Battleship, which opened five weeks before its domestic debut in various overseas markets. Its opening weekend in 26 overseas markets, starting on Wednesday, April 11th, netted $55.2m. Now Battleship stalled both here and abroad, so its debut actually made up 23% of its worldwide total of $237m.
Thor: The Dark World opened in about 70% of its worldwide markets the week before its US debut, so its $109m overseas opening weekend amounted to 25% of its $439m overseas total as well. Iron Man 3 earned an obscene $198m a week ahead of its US debut as well, debuting in just under 40 territories and again securing 24% of its eventual $806m overseas cume. So what does one make about The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s $47 million overseas debut? Well the worst case scenario is that it has in fact done 24% of its overseas business, given it a probable overseas cume of $200m to go along with whatever it makes in America. But that ain’t gonna happen, so it’s merely there for comparison.
It’s also opening in far fewer territories than the Marvel Studios/Disney films, going out in a similar fashion to Battleship. Obviously Battleship rolled out twice as slowly (Amazing Spider-Man 2 drops in America 2.5 weeks after its overseas debut), but it’s the closest comparison for this relatively new release pattern that comes to mind. The first Amazing Spider-Man earned $490m overseas along with its $262m domestic haul. Let’s be optimistic and presume that Amazing Spider-Man 2 plays better here and abroad than Battleship. The reviews thus far are certainly better, with most falling in the mixed-positive category. And, um, Spider-Man is a bit more popular than the board game on which Battleship was based on.
Thus with this mere 14 territory launch, and this is really “fun with math” at this early stage, give The Amazing Spider-Man 2 a 10% (same as the last film’s overseas debut %, but in more markets) and thus possible $495m overseas total to go along with whatever it makes in America (I’m thinking over/under $250m at this early juncture). But if the film clicks overseas and/or the likes of Godzilla or X-Men: Days of Future Past don’t connect worldwide, obviously I wouldn’t rule out anything noticeably higher, especially considering the overseas popularity of the character. So that’s all we’ve got at this point. I’m aware there is a lot of speculation at this early stage, as well as the somewhat uncharted territory for these kind of uber-early releases. But we’ll know more as if opens wider in the next two weeks.
In the meantime, watch out for spoilers from overseas viewers (Jodie Foster as Doctor Octopus?!). If you actually live in the UK or somewhere else where Sony has already opened the film, feel free to share your NON SPOILER thoughts below. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Jamie Foxx, opens in America on May 2nd. You’ll know more when I know more.