‘Amazing Spider-Man': What ‘Tracking for $125 Million’ Actually Means

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The Amazing Spider-ManAre people excited for The Amazing Spider-Man, the Marvel reboot of the comic book character who starred in three highly success films in the early ’00s? Answer: oh yes. If the box office tracking numbers are to be believed, the Spidey redo will be huge. Like, $125 million huge.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone superhero flick, which comes out on July 3, is tracking to exceed an intake of $125 million over the 6 days comprising the holiday week. Polls indicate that every demographic is interested in Spider-Man, most notably males of all ages and females under 25.

But before you rush out to buy stock in The Daily Bugle, remember this: tracking reports are hardly a guarantee.

Tracking, according to Hollywood.com Box Office Analyst Paul Dergarabedian, “is an inexact science that at least offers some insight as to how a film might open, and provides a modicum of predictability for studios trying to get a handle on how their movie will perform in advance of the release date.”

A Hollywood insider explains that tracking manifests in the form of a number which translates to a probably opening weekend intake. How they get to that number is an even bigger mystery, mostly based on cold call phone polling. However, the range can be vast: a movie tracking between “10” and “15” could gross anywhere between $25 and $40 million. The golden $125 million number is less a box office prediction and more of an interest tracker. A “look what we’ve got on our hands” way of promoting the film.

As such, the reports of The Amazing Spider-Man success could fall short. But it’s interesting to consider what might be contributing to this kind of optimism. There are a few factors that might contribute to the recent upswing in Peter Parker popularity. For one, a handful of early reviews have surfaced online, many of which praise the film:

“The most amazing thing about this Spider-Man is how much heart and genuinely warm storytelling it has…It may not have the non-stop action and spectacle of ‘Avengers Assemble,’ but it does have characters you can fall in love with, and bags of charm.” – SFX

“In re-engineering Parker into the introspective, uncertain male more typical of his previous film, Webb is aided by a terrific performance from Andrew Garfield, who brings a genial unflappability that allows him to negotiate the often-ludicrous demands of the superhero plotline.” – The Guardian

“Graced with great performances from Garfield and Stone, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is a rare comic-book flick that is better at examining relationships than superheroism.” – Empire

Additionally, the recent announcement of a possible film for the beloved Spider-Man villain Venom might hike interest in some more comic-literate circles, but certainly not enough to account for a projected intake as large as $125 million.

The only logical assumption is that the benefactor is none other than this recent phenomenon, courtesy of an interview between Stone and Hollywood.com Movies Editor Matt Patches:

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But in all seriousness, Spider-Man is a mainstay. The 2002 Sam Raimi film boasted a record breaking intake, as did its 2004 sequel. Those interested are perhaps not as passionate as anticipators of The Dark Knight Rises, hence the limited buzz The Amazing Spider-Man has experienced up until now. But the interest is there — people want The Amazing Spider-Man just enough to go see it. And, if the projections prove true, they will.

[Image Credit: Columbia Pictures]

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.

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