Why’d it bomb? The Amazing Spider Man 2 (2014)

Last summer, Spider-Man made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU for short). This summer, the web-slinger will be headlining his own movie. But before his “homecoming”, Spidey was the star of two of Sony’s franchises. First, Sam Raimi a trilogy starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Then Marc Webb rebooted the series in 2012 with Andrew Garfield taking over the mantle. In both cases, the franchise’s started off well but then, through executive meddling, things didn’t go so well.

Then came The Amazing Spider Man 2, which had the lowest grossing domestic gross of any Spider Man film, grossing $202 million domestically. That being said, it was technically a hit at the box office, making $709 million worldwide. However, while that wasn’t much different from the first movie’s worldwide gross of $757 million, Sony was expecting the movie to make more money and, when it didn’t, they ended up firing Garfield (though the fact that he had a falling out with the head of Sony didn’t help matters either), they cancelled their plans for an Amazing Spider-Man franchise, and decided to reboot the whole thing all over again. But why wasn’t it the huge hit Sony was hoping for? Let’s find out!

3. Neighbors, of all movies, ended up being worthy competition
Neighbors was released the second week after ASM opened and, amazingly enough, it actually dethroned The Amazing Spider Man 2 after its second week. I guess the teens-twentysomething’s who might’ve been interested in both got their fix after the first weekend so, once Neighbors came out, they abandoned the movie in droves and went to see Neighbors instead. Granted, Neighbors did not make nearly as much as ASM 2 altogether but, still, the fact that it actually dethroned it at the top spot at the box office in it’s 2nd week does say something!

2. The movie drove away many of the people who disliked The Amazing Spider-Man
Considering the first Amazing Spider-Man was already a bit divisive, many people who hated the first Webb film probably didn’t want to see a sequel. As a result, they stayed away and the movie ended up making less as a result. In addition, it also probably drove away many of the fans who didn’t like the franchise in the first place because they wanted Spidey to be with the MCU, as they decided it was another movie they weren’t going to see.

1. Franchise Fatigue
Probably the biggest reason the movie didn’t meet expectations is that there were just too many Spider-Man films and people wanted a break from the character. After all, The Amazing Spider-Man came out only 5 years after Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out just 2 years after The Amazing Spider-Man 1. With all those movies coming so close together, people probably just got tired of the whole thing and it caused more people to stay away.

Weirdly enough, though, there is a lot of hype for the next Spider-Man reboot, though that definitely has to do with the fact that it is connected with the MCU. Otherwise, Sony’s first attempt at rebooting Spider-Man just didn’t work out and we’ll have to hope this new reboot works out for the best!


Posted on April 19, 2017, in Movies, Super Heroes, Why'd it bomb? and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. We went from 2 mostly good Spider-Man movies to 3 mostly bad movies starring the same character. Once people realized the Garfield reboot wasn’t going to be an upgrade, the follow up was destined to bring in less money. The fact that it was the worst Spider-Man movie yet couldn’t have helped.


    • I sort of liked Amazing Spider-man, but it was one of those deals where I put an asterisk by it with the understanding that my opinion would be moved up or down based on the follow-up. The first movie left a lot hanging. If the sequel followed up on it well, that would increase my appreciation of the first movie. Instead, Amazing Spider-man 2 was the second coming of Batman and Robin. It wasn’t just the worst Spider-man movie, it was one of the worst superhero movies of all times. Shockingly bad (Elector pun intended.)

      I’m holding out hopes that Marvel will right the ship with Homecoming. But Sony’s announcement of a Spider-man-free series of movies starring villains and supporting characters like Venom and Black Cat is a real head scratcher. They don’t appear to have learned any lessons from ASM2.


  2. I haven’t seen Amazing Spider-man 2 yet, so I will take lebeau and Daffy’s word about the overall quality of the film. I think that that, as well as the factors Kevin lists, are doubtless big reasons for its failure. I’d suggest that one other factor might be that it ends on a major downer of a plot twist; I presume that three years after the release it’s not a big spoiler to say that Gwen Stacy dies in this one. Yes, killing a major character did not stop The Dark Knight from being a huge hit, but 1) That was a Batman film, and we expect those to be a bit dark, and 2) Rachel Dawes wasn’t as central or appealing a character as Gwen.


  3. The Amazing Spider-Man films were terrible. I speak as possibly the biggest Spider-Man fan you may ever meet (if we ever meet). Though the first Spidey series wasn’t perfect as far as characterization, the tone was right (in the first 2 films), and were greatly enjoyed by fans and critics alike. The bad blood began with questionable choices for the third Raimi Spider-Film, but ti was still within that mostly accepted world from the first two. With the rebooting, they changed characterizations that were long established in both the comic books and the previous films. Peter Parker was a rebellious punk. Spider-Man was an asshole. Emma Stone was perfect as Gwen Stacy though. No complaints with her. The characterization of Peter continued to suck in the second Amazing Spider-Man film, but the Spidey had the right balance of pun to action to earnestness required. Plus, the costume was the closest to perfect comic Spidey. However, the story and the villains were terrible. There was so much bad, eye-rolling nonsense in the ASM films that I only watched each once, and this was after seeing the Raimi films 11, 10, and 7 times each respectively. They should have just carried on the Spidey films with new actors instead of rebooting, because the changes made were complete garbage, and trying to get around the famous phrase “With great power comes great responsibility”, but still trying to use the philosophy of it was clumsy AF. The ASM movies were just terrible all around. Spidey had me giddy in CIVIL WAR. Though there are changes in the MCU that I am NOT happy about (Hot Aunt May? Iron Man tech? A teenage friend who is also supposed to be Ned Leeds?), the characterization seems right, and it looks fun. No completely unwanted and unwarranted mystery about Peter’s parents or stupid experiments on Peter as a baby nonsense are included, thank God. Bring on MCU Spidey! It looks fun!


  4. I liked the first one well enough, and I’ve never viewed the second, so I’m only half-informed I guess.


  5. Personally I really disliked (hated) ASM1. The whole opening feels pointless because everyone knows Uncle Ben is going to die (and having Martin Sheen play the character only reinforced that fact from the beginning) The only scenes that shined in ASM1 were the ones where Dennis Leary was present (except for the man of many mask line, god that was aweful)

    ASM2 was slightly more enjoyable to me. However it did feel like it dragged on with the over abundance of sub plots, the classic mistake of having too many villains, and the less said about the sinister six set up the better. To its credit I was surprised when they killed of Gwen Stacy in the second movie instead of waiting for part 3. but on the whole the ASM 2 is only a minuscule improvement to its predecessor in some areas but it offsets this with its own problems.

    as for homecoming, I really wish they weren’t doing another reboot so soon, but if they could turn out a better series than the Mark Webb films than more power to them..

    Also I would eventually like to see a spider man movie that sees Toby Maguire return as an older Peter Parker from another universe teaming up with the MCU version.


    • Spider-Man (2002)

      Post by The Sea Lizuka on 2 hours ago
      3 hours ago andrew8798 said:
      For ASM 2 The Stuff not helping Harry doesn’t help either

      Oh, man, ASM2 is probably my pick for the worst one of these. At least 3’s shorter, doesn’t pointlessly kill off the love interest and then immediately waive it off, doesn’t have its final boss look like he’s just done a bunch of meth, and doesn’t have a part where they stop the movie dead to make you wonder, “How the hell did he get that good an Internet connection in the mid-90s? And has that computer been on for the past 20 years? How and why?” while not contributing anything at all to the actual plot in doing it. Plus at least they actually had Venom, even if he was super watered down and could probably be edited out of the movie, instead of killing him off offscreen to set up Carnage.


  6. 16 Marvel Movies That Didn’t Live Up To the Hype


    Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man franchise ended on something of a sour note, when a planned fourth installment in the series was cancelled following a lengthy row between the director and Sony Pictures.

    Sony wanted a new Spider-Man movie fast, while Raimi, frustrated with studio meddling on Spider-Man 3, wanted to make a better movie this time around. Ultimately, the decision was made to reboot the entire franchise, with Sony troublingly referencing Batman Begins as an inspiration for this new, gritty reboot.

    Nevertheless, fans were excited to see a new take on the Spider-Man formula. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone looked perfect as the leads of this new film, and in spite of its third film, the previous trilogy had generated enough buzz around big screen Spidey appearances that most fans had high hopes for this new series.

    These hopes were dashed fairly quickly. As it turned out, Amazing Spider-Man is little more than a remake of the original movie, and its unfocused script and glaring plot holes point to just how rushed the production was.


    Dark Peter Parker in Spider Man 3 16 Marvel Movies That Didnt Live Up To the Hype
    The first two Spider-Man movies may not have aged particularly well, but at the time of their release, they were two of the high points of comic book cinema. The first movie was responsible for many other copycat comic book films that followed, while Spider-Man 2 is widely regarded as a rare instance of a sequel being better than the original movie.

    With all things looking good for the franchise, audiences went into Spider-Man 3 eager to see what might well be a perfect trilogy of films.

    The movie was an enormous disappointment in many ways. Not only did the film run for far too long, with too many villains competing for screen time, but Sam Raimi’s love of cringeworthy Toby Maguire moments finally went too far with a musical number in the middle of the film that’s designed to show how evil Spider-Man has become.

    Fans collectively rolled their eyes, and Spider-Man 3 is widely considered one of the biggest letdowns in comic book movie history.


    Following the lukewarm reception that Amazing Spider-Man earned from fans who, by and large, preferred the cheesy Sam Raimi series to its gritty reboot, everyone involved in the movie’s sequel promised that this time around, things would be different.

    Last time, they claimed, the script hadn’t been quite right. With Amazing Spider-Man 2, things were far better planned, and the movie was going to blow people away.

    Fans were skeptical to say the least, and Amazing Spider-Man 2 ended up with the worst box office sales of any Spider-Man movie. Even so, though, some fans were intrigued to see what was next for Andrew Garfield’s version of Peter Parker.

    Ultimately, though, the movie failed to wow audiences, and ended up being less popular than the first film in the series. The plot spends too long trying to set up future films, which left audiences feeling bored and annoyed. There was a sense of genuine relief among fans when, finally, Sony announced that they were giving up on this new Spider-Man universe in favor of loaning the character to Marvel instead.

    While Amazing Spider-Man 2 wasn’t the most hyped movie in all the world, if fans are relieved when a series gets cancelled, that suggests that it’s probably not managed to meet what little hype it did enjoy.



    An Entangled Web

    It wasn’t until the third movie that Spider-Man began the fall from grace. Plagued by overcrowding, poor characterization and a convoluted story, the film fell short. With three villains, many short cuts and sacrifices were made preventing further exploration of key elements. It is understandable where Raimi was trying to go with Sandman, he too is a compelling villain much like Octavius. Ultimately this fell short, in no small part thanks to corporate interference from Sony trying to cash in on big names like Venom and Green Goblin cheaply.

    The movie was also plagued by a trend occurring in the mid-2000’s of making everything dark and brooding. Spidey is a symbol of optimism and while he does have dark days and stories, these are often outshined by his wit and humor. Maguire’s performance sorely lacked these qualities, even giving us a terrible emo dance number. Spider-Man 3 was the exact definition of too much of a good thing. The entire movie felt rushed, but sluggish at the same time.Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) was miscast, and should have been a supporting character from the first or second movie to get viewers to care about his turn to Venom. Harry’s Proto-Goblin persona was a severe misstep as well, as the design was cheesy and severely impractical, reflecting the skater trend that was also prominent during the film’s release. Regardless of all this, the movie was still a huge financial success, reaching $890 million worldwide. However, much like the Transformers films, big budget and financial performance does not a good movie make.

    The Rebirth

    Sony realized the movie was ultimately flawed, despite making an abundance of money, and ultimately cancelled Raimi’s proposed Spider-Man 4. Instead Sony opted to start fresh, rather than correct mistakes made in Spider-Man 3, with a new Peter Parker and a new film universe. In The Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone share the lead roles in a call back to the comics, as Peter Parker and original love interest Gwen Stacy respectively. Their performances were genuine and they had a great connection, but beyond that, the movie really lacked the heart that the previous films had.

    The movie suffered from revisiting too many already established elements. We got another origin story of Spider-Man, albeit with new twists linking it all to Oscorp and Norman Osborn. There are some great action sequences and suit changes (web cartridges were a welcome addition). Unfortunately, we were presented with another bland villain who had little depth, ridiculous plot devices, and an angsty teenage Peter Parker played by a 30-year-old. ASM is not a perfect film by any stretch, it could have been worse. The movie set up some plot devices that could be explored further in future movies. Keeping Norman Osborn on the sidelines while using his company as a looming figure was a wise move.When The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was announced it was an exciting prospect to think what new villains like Electro and Rhino could potentially bring to the table. Plot points introduced in the first movie could be touched upon and set up a rich new plethora of sequels. Unfortunately, when it was released the disappointment could not have been more severe. The movie was plagued by Spider-Man 3 syndrome, cramming too many villains into a campy plot reminiscent of Batman And Robin, all the while trying to keep the villains more grounded like in the Christopher Nolan Batman movies.

    It seems strange that a giant lizard creature can be running around, but not a human rhino. ASM2 had a whopping 3 main villains and roughly 4 minor villains introduced, one of which is a deceased Norman Osborn. It was overstuffed with comic book references, villains, secondary characters, and ridiculous subplots surrounding Peter’s parents and the link to Oscorp. The love story between Gwen and Peter is the only thing that saves the movie from being a complete mess. However, the interactions between Gwen and Peter play second fiddle to a nonsensical plot and CGI characters.

    Another Chance To Be A Hero

    Marvel has had time to build their universe with various characters. The inclusion of characters like Iron Man and Captain America in Spider-Man: Homecoming will not be at the expense of their characters, as they are well established prior to the film’s release. Tony Stark has been developed over roughly seven movies. We know he is an arrogant jerk, but also a person who is a tried and true hero who has learnt from his mistakes. While the cast list seems big, having a minor villain like Shocker and a major villain like Vulture can help build the universe, giving it a sense of scope.

    Spider-man works well with the street level crime but isn’t afraid to deal with larger scale threats. Homecoming can be a rebirth for Peter, establishing Spidey within his recognized status quo of a high school. Back to being a student struggling to balance his studies with his superhero duties, while trying to maintain a secret identity will be a nice change for the movie version of the character. A big key to the success of Homecoming and other Spider-Man ventures going forward is avoiding over-stuffing for the sake of it.


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