$59 Million Dollars, 1 Collective Groan from Fanboys

Here is the news that you have already heard: Spider-Man 3 grossed an estimated $59 million at the Box Office on Friday (via BoxOfficeMojo), setting the all-time record for a single day take. By now, there is no doubt that you were aware of that. Fans flocked to midnight screenings to catch a glimpse of the film being billed as the most prolific superhero movies ever. The marketing campaign was strong, the media blitz was fierce and the internet was a-buzz for web-slinging guy in spandex. As expected, the film was an instant success! Or was it?

Soon after the initial waves of fans got their fix, the opinions began to roll in. Many sites sought out the opinions of their readers; collected comments as did’s Blog. And of course, the forums at RottenTomatoes were filling up quicker than the line to claim Anna Nicole’s baby. What was the overwhelming theme of the fanboy reaction to Spidey 3? Disappointment.

Comments ranged from “I did laugh at the movie, not because it was funny, but because it felt right to make fun of it.” to “This film reminded me of the feeling I had when Joel Schumacher took over the Batman franchise…and murdered it.” It is easy to see that while the film was not rejected by the fanboy community, it surely did not sit well.

But what about the general public, the mass consensus? How did are they reacting? RT’s User Tomatometer has the film at a modest 68%, which isn’t great considering the fact that Spider-Man 2 stands (to this day) at 91% and the first Spider-Man is at 90%. IMDB paints a slightly different picture; Spider-Man got a 7.4 (out of 10) rating on over 98,000 votes, Spider-Man 2 has a 75,000 votes. Spider-Man 3? A 7.3 rating on over 10,000 votes. Those figures alone don’t mean that the public is ready to ship Spider-Man 3 off to the “Worst Comic Book Movies Ever” farm, but it sure puts it below the standard set by the first two movies.

So what is the big deal? Why does it matter how people feel about the film? Won’t it make big $$ no matter what? Yes and no. The opening weekend for Spider-Man 3 was never in doubt; this one was going to come flying out of the gates based on momentum and marketing alone. Where the word-of-mouth will come into play is on the weekend of May 18, when Shrek 3 hits theaters and then again on May 25 with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Spider-Man may have trouble getting those repeat views offered to Pirates 2 last year, but then again, this entire Summer is too crowded to give that luxury to any film.

And of course, just like any other polarizing movie that has come and gone, there are plenty of people who liked Spider-Man 3, but the overwhelming sense of disappointment is something that cannot be overlooked. But no matter what you or I or anyone think about Spider-Man 3, there is no avoiding that it is here and it is steamrolling along. The only thing left to see is how much gas will be left in the tank after its opening sprint…

Speaking of opinions, make sure you voice yours with our Summer Movie Poll below:


Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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