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

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Jun 21, 2012 | 12:57pm EDT

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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

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