Spider-Man 3 projections already buoyant


MUMBAI: The first round of tracking for Sony Pictures’ eagerly-awaited Spider-Man 3 has registered higher than either of its predecessors in the Sony franchise.


According to www.Hollywood.tv founder Sheeraz Hasan, while Spider-Man 1 raked in $821.7 million and Spider-Man 2 pocketed $783.7 million for a combined worldwide theatrical gross of $1.6 billion, the latest film shows that “the early awareness and indicators are through the roof,” a reliable source said.


“With so many other movies struggling for attention this year, Spider-Man 3 came on [tracking] with over 90 per cent awareness and over 20 per cent first choice a month out,” added another source.


Given the imaginative trailers, combined with aggressive Internet and TV promotion, and a storyline that the other two films seemed to be leading up to, Spider-Man 3 is predicted to amass a more than $100 million on its 4 May, 2007 opening weekend in the United States alone because, based on tracking, “the number is massive” a source said. (Spider-Man 1 had a $114 million opening weekend, while Spider-Man 2 did only $88 million.)


To prevent any pirating, and because the peak movie going season starts around a weeklong national holiday that begins 1 May, Spider-Man 3 will debut first in China before it officially opens in North America.


Meanwhile, Wall Street film financing experts say that, based on its budget, Spider-Man 3 could well be the most expensive film ever made in Hollywood history. Privately, Sony says the budget was $250 million, but independent analysts say it is closer to more than $300 million, not mentioning the promotion and advertising costs, which are estimated at another $75 million. And given the popularity of the franchise, a screenplay Spider-Man 4 is already being written.


While Sony also is having a Tokyo premiere, the star-studded US premiere of Spider-Man 3 will be held at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival in Queens, N.Y., where the fictional Peter Parker (Spider-Man) grew up. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, who will be accompanied by a marching band, are scheduled to join an audience of 3,000 to see the film on 30 April.


In addition to the festival, Sony has hammered out an agreement with the City of New York to celebrate Spider-Man 3 for the week of 30 April to 6 May at the American Museum of Natural History, New York Botanical Society, Gray Line Tour, Apollo Theater, Central Park and the Bronx Zoos.

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