“The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the first release of the summer season and the biggest film of the year for Sony, led the U.S. box office in its opening weekend with sales at the low end of analysts’ projections.

The film, featuring Andrew Garfield in the title role, took in $92 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters, including screenings that began on May 1, researcher Rentrak said Sunday. That matched the estimate of Box Office Guru, while BoxOffice.com, another industry watcher, projected $94 million.

If the picture meets or beats its predecessor’s global tally, the “Spider-Man” franchise “will be in very good shape,” said Phil Contrino, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. The film is a sequel to a 2012 release that brought in $752.2 million worldwide. Sony Pictures restarted the series that year with Garfield replacing Tobey Maguire as the Marvel superhero Spider-Man and his alter ego Peter Parker.

“‘Spider-Man’ is certainly the crown jewel, it really is so important to us and our studio,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide theatrical distribution for Sony Pictures.

International sales to date total $277 million. According to Sony, the film is playing on 11,002 screens in China, the biggest release of any film in history.

“Audiences are enamored with superheroes and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ is the latest proof of that, particularly in the international marketplace,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Rentrak.

A hit would give Sony a financial and public-relations boost as it wrestles with larger-than-predicted losses and sluggish demand for its electronics.

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