That’s from 3,321 locations, Box Office Mojo reported, and marks the tenth largest preview gross for an animated feature. That $3.5 million tops the $2.2 million Thursday previews for The LEGO Batman Movie, and the $1.4 million in previews for Big Hero 6.
The Spider-Verse debut also beat Sing‘s pre-Christmas preview of $1.7 million in 2016, with that film ultimately making $634M worldwide. It’s especially impressive for Spider-Verse, Deadline noted, since it’s opening when kids are still in school for — in some cases — another week before Christmas.
However, the Spider-Verse opening is just shy of the $3.8 million Ralph Breaks the Internet brought in from Tuesday previews back in November. That film went on to have a $55.7M three-day opening weekend. Spider-Verse also compares well to the $3.6 million in previews for TRON: Legacy, which opened to $44 million.
Fandango reported that Spider-Verse pre-sales were far ahead of The LEGO Ninjago Movie at the same point in time, and that film opened to $20.4 million and made $123M worldwide in 2017.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was initially projected to make between $28 million to $35 million opening weekend. That was later adjusted slightly up to between $30 million and $35 million. Sony is still predicting $30 million — better to have projected too low than too high — and there are box office prognosticators who see the film reaching $40 million or above.
It has to help that reviews for the first foray into the Spider-Verse are extremely positive. Pity Mortal Engines that it is not enjoying anything close to the same success. That film only made $675,000 from 2,600 locations in Thursday previews, which was just ahead of the $475,000 in previews for The 5th Wave. Considering Mortal Engines reportedly cost more than Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, this is a huge disappointment for the Mortal Engines team.
The Spider-Verse is off to a great start, but we’ll have to wait until Sunday’s numbers to come in to see the opening weekend box office report. There are so many factors in play when it comes to people heading out to see a movie over the weekend, especially in the winter when lousy weather is always a potential hazard.