MANHATTAN BEACH ( — The Hollywood summer movie season is set to kick off Friday with a friendly neighbor.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports some 50 big-budget films will hit theaters over the next few months, starting with the release of the “Amazing Spider-Man” sequel.

After earning about $150 million overseas since its opening two weeks ago, “Amazing Spider-Man 2” will make its North American debut Friday in what industry analysts largely consider to be the official start of the all-important summer movie season.

The $200 million sequel reunites director Marc Webb with Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, along with a trio of villains that includes Jamie Foxx as Electro, Dane DeHaan as Harry Obsorn, and Paul Giamatti as Rhino.

Analysts say early tracking estimates signal the Sony tentpole could top the $95 million debut of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as the top domestic opening of 2014 so far.

It’s all part of an overall trend that could point to another record-shattering summer season, which accounts for 40 percent of Hollywood’s annual take, according to Rentrak media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

“This year could be the first time we go over that $5 billion mark,” Dergarabedian said.

Spider-Man 2 is the first among a slate of high-budget “tentpole” releases this summer that includes “X-Men: Days Of Future Past”, director Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Age Of Extinction” and “How To Train Your Dragon 2”.


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