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'Spidey 3' soars o'seas on first day

"So far, so good," a jubilant Sony Pictures Entertainment vice chairman Jeff Blake said Wednesday as he reported a slew of records set by "Spider-Man 3."

The latest entry in the franchise snared $29.2 million in a Tuesday blast-off in 16 overseas markets, the company said, topping "Spider-Man 2's" bow in the same territories by 86% and that of the first film by 175%.

"The bottom line is that 10 of the 16 openings had the biggest opening day of all time," Blake said.

Spidey's boxoffice power became evident Tuesday afternoon as record early returns came in from eight day-ahead Asian countries. By Tuesday night, the champagne corks really started to pop when Sony's stats specialists completed first-day calculations from all 16 markets.

Their findings revealed that all 16 bows of the third film beat the opening days of "Spider-Man 2" and the initial "Spider-Man" in their respective territories. Nine territories bested the combined gross of both previous installments, and four came up with their biggest boxoffice day of all time.

In the same 16 territories, "Spider-Man 2" grossed $15.6 million on its opening day in 2004, and "Spider-Man" bowed with $10.6 million in 2002.

Sony said France's $6.8 million represented the country's biggest opening day ever, beating "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" ($3.9 million), local blockbuster "Taxi 2" ($4.5 million) and the combined opening-day takes of Spidey 1 and 2 ($4.9 million).

Italy ($4 million) and Korea ($3.4 million) also achieved their biggest opening days in history. Germany ($4.6 million) and Japan ($3.7 million) each logged its best Tuesday opening.

Records of various sorts also were set in Austria, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Egypt, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.

"By Sunday, we will have opened in 107 countries around the world, including the U.S. and Canada," Blake said.
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