(CBS/AP) The new "Spider-Man" film began spinning its web in theaters at midnight and signs are good that its box-office draw may be as strong as the previous installments.
"The Amazing Spider-Man" pulled in $7.5 million from its debut screenings just after midnight Tuesday. According to distributor Sony Pictures, that matches the amount that "Spider-Man 3" took in from its first midnight screenings in 2007 on the way to what was then a record $151.1 million opening weekend.
Midnight screenings generally have become bigger business since then, hitting a peak as fans shelled out $43.5 million for midnight shows of the "Harry Potter" finale last summer.
While "The Amazing Spider-Man" is well back in the pack by comparison, its midnight debut hints at strong box office through the Fourth of July weekend, with industry expectations as high as $120 million in its first six days.
That would put it ahead of both the original "Spider-Man" ($114.8 million) and "Spider-Man 2" ($88.1 million). Only "Spider-Man 2" had an Independence Day opening; the other two opened on the first weekend in May.
The movie to match this summer is the mega hit "The Avengers" which took in about $200.3 million in its opening weekend in May.