The moment of truth has arrived forThe Amazing Spider-Man, opening at midnight Tuesday.
A rundown of some box-office scenarios:
1. It Opens as Big as Superman Returns: In some ways, this is the most apt comparison out there—superhero reboot versus superhero reboot, Fourth of July weekend versus Fourth of July weekend. Even the two films' Rotten Tomatoes readings are virtually identical—76 percent for Superman Returns, 78 percent at last look for The Amazing Spider-Man. In some way, it's not—the Man of Steel had been MIA from screens, if not the public imagination, for decades, while Spider-Man's never really gone away. Also, for what it's worth, the so-called top critics have been more enthusiastic about The Amazing Spider-Man. ("Pretty damn good," praised New York magazine.) Amazing Factor: Considering Superman Returns scored a blockbuster-soft $84.6 million in its first five days, Wednesday-Sunday, this would not be a wow start for the Webslinger.
2. It Opens as Big as Batman Begins: Hard to believe considering the massive success of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and the anticipation for The Dark Knight Rises, but the Caped Crusader rebooted smaller than Superman—$72.9 million in its first five days, Wednesday-Sunday. Amazing Factor: While it's never a bad thing to be compared to a Nolan movie, this likewise would not what the new Spider-Man movie's shooting for.
3 It Opens as Big as Spider-Man 2: Of all the Tobey Maguire-Kirsten Dunst adventures, this was the one that opened on a Fourth of July weekend, coming up with an outsized $152.4 million Thursday-Sunday debut. Amazing Factor: High—and probably unlikely, even with the new movie's 3-D IMAX ticket-price advantage. Reboots are not sequels.
The Bottom Line: The Amazing Spider-Man's own studio is counting on a six-day, Tuesday-Sunday debut of $110 million-$120 million, which would make the movie about as fast a starter as the original Iron Man.
For Wade Holden, an analyst for the research firm SNL Kagan, the most important thing is for the reboot to reboot Spider-Man, successfully—"to feel fresh while at the same time still being true to the characters," he said.
And, yes, that's the most amazing feat of all .