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After the record-breaking debut of “Spider-Man 3,” which pulled in $151.1 million in its first three days, a record summer looked inevitable. “Shrek the Third” and “At World’s End” followed with $100 million-plus opening weekends.

“We’re all focused on the biggest opening you can get on these films. If you don’t have a $100 million opening, there’s a lot of negativity, which shouldn’t really be,” says Nikki Rocco, head of distribution at Universal.

The studio delivered this summer’s exception with “Knocked Up,” which opened with a modest $30.7 million weekend but hung on through good audience buzz to reach $122 million and climbing.