- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

LOS ANGELES — Spider-Man caught just about everyone in his web during the weekend. The superhero’s latest adventure, “Spider-Man 3,” smashed box-office records with $148 million in its first three days, according to studio estimates released yesterday.

That put it ahead of the previous record debut of $135.6 million set last summer by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”

With $59.3 million on opening day Friday, Sony’s “Spider-Man 3” broke the single-day box-office record, also held by “Dead Man’s Chest” with $55.8 million in its first day.

Since it began rolling out overseas on Tuesday, “Spider-Man 3” has taken in $227 million in foreign markets, bringing the film’s worldwide total to $375 million. In just days, the movie has grossed $117 million more than its whopping $258 million production budget.

In just two days, the film also nearly matched the $114.8 million opening weekend of 2002’s “Spider-Man,” which had held the debut record until “Dead Man’s Chest” opened.

“Spider-Man 3” reunites director Sam Raimi, who also made the previous two installments, and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.

“Sam Raimi is a genius,” said Amy Pascal, Sony Pictures co-chairwoman. “I could have never envisioned this. What I was hoping was we would just break the ‘Spider-Man 1’ record. This is beyond my wildest dream.”

The overall box office soared from “Spider-Man 3,” with the top 12 movies taking in $176.6 million, up 77 percent from the same weekend a year ago, when “Mission: Impossible III” opened with $47.7 million.

“Spider-Man 3” outdid that movie by $100 million and grossed more in each of its first two days than “Mission: Impossible III” did over the full weekend.

Also among the records smashed by “Spider-Man 3” was a $4.8 million domestic gross at huge-screen Imax theaters, topping the previous best of $3.6 million set by “300” in March.

Playing in a record 4,252 locations domestically, “Spider-Man 3” averaged a whopping $34,807 a theater.

Domestically, “Spider-Man 3” could enter its second weekend Friday with $200 million already in the bank. The film has the market largely to itself for the next week and a half, with no major competition arriving until DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek the Third” arrives May 18.

With “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and an onslaught of other potential blockbusters following, studio executives predict this could be a record summer for modern Hollywood.

“Spider-Man 3” packed in enormous crowds that were captive audiences viewing trailers for those upcoming flicks.

“If you could imagine the best kickoff to what could be the biggest summer of all time, this is the scenario,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. “This will have a ripple effect on audiences exposed to the marketing for all the other summer films.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide