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Spidey 3 Leaps to Blockbuster Status

Spidey 3 Leaps to Blockbuster Status

"Spider-Man 3" cast a worldwide web with a blockbuster first day, hauling in $29.15 million in 16 overseas markets and beating the debuts of the previous two "Spider-Man" flicks in each locale.
The film had the best opening day ever Tuesday in some countries, including France, Italy, South Korea and Hong Kong, distributor Sony Pictures said.
"Spider-Man 3" opens over the next couple of days in dozens of other countries, including the United States on Friday.
"`Spider-Man' is a worldwide franchise, and the thing we're most excited about is that in two pretty completely separate parts of the world we've gotten off to a great start," Jeff Blake, Sony vice chairman, said Wednesday. "We certainly hope for the same in North America."
Domestically, 2002's "Spider-Man" opened with $114.8 million in its first weekend, a record debut that stood until "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" shattered it last year with a $135.6 million weekend.
"Spider-Man 2" opened on a Wednesday before the Fourth of July weekend in 2004, pulling in a record $180.1 million in its first six days.
The two previous films combined for a total of $1.6 billion worldwide, about half of that coming in the United States.
In France, "Spider-Man 3" took in $6.8 million on opening day, more than the first-day grosses there for "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man 2" combined.
It grossed $4.6 million in Germany, $4 million in Italy, $3.7 million in Japan, $3.4 million in South Korea, $1.1 million in the Philippines and $1 million each in Hong Kong and Thailand.
The third installment in director Sam Raimi's superhero series, "Spider-Man 3" reunites Tobey Maguire as the web-slinger, Kirsten Dunst as the love of his life and James Franco as his old pal turned enemy.
Adapted from the Marvel comic books, the film also introduces two new villains, Thomas Haden Church as the Sandman and Topher Grace as Venom.
Along with bad guys, Spidey ends up battling his own dark side as he fights the temptation to use his powers for evil after an alien entity infects his superhero outfit.
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Sony Pictures is a unit of Sony Corp.