LOS ANGELES (AP) — The new Spider-Man has launched with the same midnight magic as the old one.
"The Amazing Spider-Man" pulled in $7.5 million from its debut screenings Tuesday just after midnight. According to distributor Sony Pictures, that matches the amount that "Spider-Man 3" took in from its first midnight screenings in 2007 on the way to what was then a record $151.1 million opening weekend.
Midnight screenings generally have become bigger business since then, hitting a peak as fans shelled out $43.5 million for midnight shows of the "Harry Potter" finale last summer.
While "The Amazing Spider-Man" is well back in the pack by comparison, its midnight debut hints at strong box office through the Fourth of July weekend, with industry expectations as high as $120 million in its first six days.
"The Amazing Spider-Man" opened last week in 13 overseas markets, pulling in about $50 million through the weekend.
The new movie is a fresh start for the Marvel Comics superhero, retelling teen orphan Peter Parker's encounter with a mutant spider whose bite endows the youth with strength, agility and heightened senses.
Andrew Garfield plays Peter, taking over from Tobey Maguire, who starred in Sony's previous three "Spider-Man" films directed by Sam Raimi. Sony and Marvel Studios went back to the drawing board after Raimi decided against returning for another sequel on his Spidey franchise.
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