Andrew Garfield tries to avoid plummeting too far as Spider-Man. (courtesy of Sony Pictures)


SPIDER-MAN may take on Electro, Green Goblin and the Rhino — but he’s still no match for the Winter Soldier.

Sony’s “Amazing Spider-Man” sequel opened to an estimated $92-million over the weekend, within the range of the studio’s managed expectations. Yet Sony’s Marvel man couldn’t top the year’s biggest domestic debut so far: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and its opening gross last month of $95-million.

Still, with so much riding on its Spider-Man franchise — including at least two more sequels and the “Sinister Six” spinoff — Sony should be relieved that Andrew Garfield’s 3-D Spidey is viable enough that, despite signs of fatigue, the second film is in the running to beat Marc Webb’s 2012 reboot ($262-million domestic and $752-million total)..

“It certainly has the potential to exceed the first film’s gross domestically,” the studio’s distribution president, Rory Bruer, told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re heading into another weekend which is wide open, so we have incredible play time.”

That’s no given, though — especially with “Godzilla” and the latest “X-Men” (which is expected to open to $125-million-plus) still to debut this month. Based on various factors — including the Spidey sequel’s “B-plus” CinemaScore and mixed reviews — predicts Webb’s latest will gross about $230-million domestically and become the lowest-grossing of the five Spider-Man films.

“Amazing Spider-Man 2” has already grossed $277-million overseas. Leading up to the U.S. debut, there was speculation, and floated hopes, that the film might reach the magic $1-billion mark. Now, even with a big foreign business, that looks unlikely.


* Speaking of “Winter Soldier,” the Captain America sequel — which finished fourth over the weekend with $7.7-million — has now grossed more than $237-million domestically, far outpacing its predecessor.

* “Winter Soldier” has also grossed almost $680-million total, according to BoxOfficeMojo — pushing it past “Man of Steel” ($668-million).

* “Frozen” has just crossed the $400-million mark domestically — making it one of the top-19 films ever in the North American market.