Over the past two days The Amazing Spider-Man has already grossed nearly $60 Million stateside. Calling it the weekend winner doesn’t take much work. It’s going up against Katy Perry: Part of Me, and Savages and if it can’t take both it’s because it completely collapsed.

Look, I was no fan of ASM, but money is money. The question here is: will the film act like a sequel? With the last Spider-film having come out five years ago, it’s been a little longer than normal for standard sequels (generally they try to follow up in two to three years), but not long enough to be considered entirely fresh, especially for something that covers much of the same territory. Word has been mixed/positive among regular people it seems, but there was a lot of apathy from the general public beforehand, which means the first couple days could be front-loaded.

We’ve seen some sites suggest $140 million for its Sunday total and it looks like others feel like it’s going to miss that mark. But $125 million would be the bottom. With the film not open in all markets internationally, it looks like the film will get to $500 Million worldwide. Sony’s already announced it as a trilogy, the question is if they won the battle but lost the war. Likely they will get a new director for the second film, but part of the problem right now is the circle of life of Hollywood.

I don’t question that Marc Webb lost control of the picture and that the entire film was rejiggered because of test screenings, because – let’s face it – it was. But the problem is that there aren’t a lot of medium budget films being made in the marketplace. Either you do a ten million or less picture or something that costs a hundred or more, comedies excepted. But when studios are mostly interested in tentpoles, there’s only so many people who have experience directing those, and as Francis Ford Coppola once said, directing a big budget movie is like trying to write a great story with a gigantic pencil.

I don’t blame Webb for taking the project because he needed to make a studio picture to move up career-wise, but like Jon M. Chu, it looks like Webb didn’t have that much control over the final product. And that may have been something both parties had problems with while they were shooting. In that way, it’s hard to know how much the directors are to blame for these films, when they never had full control to begin with.

But as we’ve seen stranger and stranger choices for blockbuster directors, it’s because you either have to step up and deliver or toil in the minor leagues. As Roger Corman filmmakers will tell you, it’s okay to make one film for no money, but if you keep doing it, that’s what they expect of you. Webb knew how to work with actors, but it’s hard to say he navigated the machinery well. And so he may have a very successful film that’s ultimately terrible for his career.

And we may have a film that leaves many viewers a little cold, which ultimately hurts the brand, but only so much. Spider-Man is still Spider-Man. And all the pieces are there in this new one for an entertaining movie: it’s got good actors and action scenes, but it’s like a burger with under-cooked meat. You get what you came for, but if you’re looking at it a bit critically it’s not made well. With ticket prices having grown more and more expensive, audiences are often rooting for a picture and willing to do some of the heavy lifting. Here audiences get Spider-Man, but maybe not the best iteration of him. But they got what they came for, so there’s that.

Katy Perry: Part of Me was done for nothing, most of its expenses comes from marketing, so it should be a solid performer for Paramount, while Savages is the medium budget picture that Hollywood doesn’t make enough of. But as it’s coming out now, it’s screwed as it can’t compete with the blockbusters of the season.

With last weekend showing surprising numbers for both Magic Mike and Ted, it will be interesting to see if they can hold up. But enough of my yakking, let’s boogie:

  1. The Amazing Spider-Man – $55 Million
  2. Ted – $30 Million
  3. Brave – $19.5 Million
  4. Katy Perry: Part of Me – $17.5 Million
  5. Magic Mike – $17 Million

Spidey could climb higher, but with this wonky holiday week, it’s hard to say if they’ll be a weekend bump. Ted could be impacted by the Spider, but if it left last weekend with good word of mouth, it might regain some ground. I feel there is a certain X factor to Magic, though it may have all been opening weekend hype. We’ll see Sunday.

What are you going to watch this weekend?