'Spider-Man' swings to $7.5 mln late-night debut

LOS ANGELES, July 3 Tue Jul 3, 2012 2:58pm EDT

LOS ANGELES, July 3 (Reuters) - A movie reboot of the "Spider-Man" franchise snared $7.5 million in its web at U.S. and Canadian theaters from screenings just after midnight on Tuesday, distributor Sony Pictures said.

The opening for "The Amazing Spider-Man" starring Andrew Garfield as the swinging superhero matched the midnight sales for Sony's last movie in the franchise, "Spider-Man 3", in 2007. About $1.4 million of the new film's opening sales came from showings on giant Imax screens, Sony said.

The midnight total ranked below this year's blockbuster, "The Avengers", which pulled in $18.7 million at its May opening, but ahead of June sci-fi thriller "Prometheus" with $3.6 million.

Those movies, however, opened closer to the weekend. Sony debuted "Spider-Man" on Tuesday to pull in moviegoers taking time off around Wednesday's July 4 holiday in the United States.

The studio projects domestic ticket sales of $110 million to $120 million from Tuesday through the weekend. Sony spent about $215 million to produce the 3D film, plus tens of millions more on marketing.

North American (U.S. and Canadian) sales could run up to $125 million or more over the film's first six days, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office division of Hollywood.com.

"Given the solid reviews and expected word of mouth, not to mention the 3D and Imax boost, it could easily exceed projections," Dergarabedian said.

The new movie follows Spider-Man alter-ego Peter Parker in high school as he turns into the crime-fighting superhero. Emma Stone plays his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy.

Over the past weekend, "Spider-Man" pulled in $50.2 million when it debuted in 13 countries across Asia.

Sony Pictures is a unit of Sony Corp .