The last film that had made Subhayan Dhar set an alarm at 7am was Spider-Man 3 in 2007. Five years and an engineering degree later, on Friday morning, Subhayan, who works for an MNC in Bangalore, woke up early again to watch the reboot of the superhero franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man.
“Spider-Man is my favourite superhero primarily because he is an underdog and there is an underdog in all of us. The plots are always engaging and the action mind-boggling. This time, I loved the special effects in 3D,” said Subhayan after the first show of The Amazing Spider-Man at Fame (South City) on Friday morning.
The fourth film in the multi-million dollar franchise that traces Peter Parker’s journey from a gawky teen to a masked vigilante is the biggest Hollywood release in India, with over 1,000 prints in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. “Spider-Man’s track record as the most consistently successful movie franchise in India combined with an increased audience for dubbed versions, growth of 3D and local connect led to a record demand for prints,” said Kercy Daruwala, managing director, Sony Pictures, the producers of the Marc Webb-directed film.
India is getting to see the film a week before the US, where it releases on July 3.
City multiplexes flaunted houseful boards from the first show. “The film has been running to packed houses since the morning. We expect the weekend numbers to be huge,” said an official of Fame Cinemas.
The reception matched that of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II, the last film in the boy wizard series, which released last July. Plex officials believe The Amazing Spider-Man could race ahead. “Harry Potter had fewer 3D shows and also faced stiff Bollywood competition in the form of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which released on the same day,” said the spokesperson for a plex. The Amazing Spider-Man only has Sonu Sood’s Maximum, which opened poorly across the city, to contend with.
For fans, the opportunity to see their favourite superhero jump from one Manhattan highrise to another for the first time in 3D is proving irresistible. On Friday, multiplexes did brisk business with the 3D shows, with the 2D screenings benefiting from the spillover crowd. “The queues are growing with every show. Everyone just wants to watch the film in 3D,” said Subhasis Ganguli, regional director, INOX.
“Even single screens like Paradise and Roxy that have 3D are doing better than the ones that are screening it in 2D,” said Debashish Dey of Aum Moviez, the regional distributors of the film. In Calcutta, 48 prints of the film are in circulation, in English and Hindi.
If the 3D action is the draw for the boys, Social Network man Andrew Garfield, who dons the Spidey suit for the first time, is bringing girl gangs to the hall. “He’s so cute and I loved Peter’s chemistry with Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone),” said college student Sheetal Agarwal, who had walked in for a morning show along with four friends.
The presence of Irrfan Khan in a short but significant role contributed to the Spidey frenzy. “I am not really as huge a Spider-Man fan as my friends, but came along just to see Irrfan. I thought he was good though I wish his role was longer,” said college student Sharanya Das.