'Spider-Man 3' shatters box-office records with $148 million in 3 days

Monday, May 7, 2007

LOS ANGELES -- Spider-Man caught just about everyone in his web. The superhero's latest adventure, "Spider-Man 3," smashed box-office records with $148 million in its first three days, according to studio estimates Sunday.

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 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, it 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.

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