TASM2 Tracking $95 Million Box-Office Opening / Sinister Six Movie Tale of Redemption / New Poster

Sony has a lot riding on the Marvel superhero sequel, which stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and opens on May 2

Sony's Marvel superhero saga “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is tracking for an opening in the $95 million range, according to early pre-release information that came online Thursday morning.

That puts it in the neighborhood of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” the Disney Marvel sequel that got summer going early this year with its April record $96 million opening last weekend, the year's biggest.

Sony Pictures is rolling out the Andrew Garfield-Emma Stone follow-up to its 2012 reboot on May 2. Studio executives weren't commenting Thursday, but the numbers showed strength among families and minority audiences, which have been strong demographics for the franchise in the past.

That first weekend in May has become the traditional kick-off date for Hollywood's summer season and has been the launch date for the two biggest domestic openings of all time, both Marvel superhero sagas: “The Avengers” opened with $207.4 million in 2012 and “Iron Man 3” brought in $174.1 million last year, both for Disney.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” won't threaten those numbers, but if it hits its initial tracking number — and the three weeks until its debut gives the studio's marketing team time to build on its momentum — it will blow past the three-day total of the previous film, “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

That one, which rebooted the franchise five years after the third “Spider-Man” movie, launched on the Tuesday before the Fourth of July in 2012. It brought in $137 million over the five days and $62 million from Friday-Sunday. It wound up taking in $262 million domestically, doing very well overseas and finishing with $752 million worldwide.

More importantly, “The Amazing Spider-Man” re-invigorated what had become a dormant franchise, despite rolling up $2.5 billion with three movies between 2002-2007.

The stakes for Sony are high on “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” and not just because of its $200 million budget. The studio is banking heavily on Peter Parker and his pals to power a superhero series that will generate potential blockbusters for years, as Marvel has for Disney, and DC Comics heroes Batman and Superman have for Warner Bros.

It has already slotted the next two movies in the series, with “The Amazing Spider-Man 3” set for June 2016 and the fourth installment scheduled for May of 2018. And it is developing at least two sequels – “Sinister Six” and “Venom” – populated with Spidey villains and other characters from the web-slinger's world.

Marc Webb returns as the director for “The Amazing Spider-Man” sequel, which has a script from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. In addition to Garfield and Stone, the star-studded cast includes Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti and Dane DeHaan as baddies Electro, The Rhino and The Green Goblin, respectively.

BoxOffice.com is bullish on “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” with a long-range projection that sees a $112 million opening and a domestic tally of $265 million.

The Sinister Six Movie is a Tale of Redemption

The Sinister Six film is going to be a tale of redemption, where the villains aren’t necessarily portrayed as villains.

Speaking to IGN, the film's producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach revealed more details about the spin-off project and how you go about making a movie that's focussed on the bad guys.

“You know great movies have been made about a bunch of bad guys who get together to do something.”

“There's no such thing as just a villain," says Tolmach. "There are villains by virtue of choices that people make but they always begin as humans, as characters. As flawed people; as tragic people. You know great movies have been made about a bunch of bad guys who get together to do something.”

"Yeah, I mean, there's a huge tradition of it," says Tolmach. "Those are sometimes the greatest characters to watch. A bunch of broken people coming together for whatever reason."

When asked if Spider-Man would make an appearance, Tolmach wouldn't be drawn into confirming or denying his involvement: "We're definitely not going to say what we're doing in terms of Spider-Man there."

“[Audiences] love when a villain finds his way back because we're all very forgiving."

Although Arad emphasised the importance of Spider-Man in bringing such disparate characters together. "As long as there's that one thing in common: they'll hate Spider-Man," he says. "They'll hate him because he's so different from them. But then, you know when you sit by yourself somewhere and you think about it, they all had a different life at one time and that's what's so beautiful about the Spider-Man universe. They have amazing stories if you look at it.

"And everybody's looking for redemption; they're unforgiven. Would you see one of the Sinister Six starting to feel like that? Yes. And people love it, by the way. They love when a villain finds his way back because we're all very forgiving."

But Tolmach points out that it's also about "a bunch of badass characters doing something. It's like, 'Let's admit that we love watching that.' And so, where that goes..."

Earlier in the week we it was announced that The Sinister Six will be directed by Drew Goddard, who is best known for Cabin in the Woods. A release date has yet to be confirmed.

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