'Spider-Man 3' snares web of first-day records

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"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 comic-book franchise snared $29.2 million in a May 1 blast-off in 16 overseas markets, topping "Spider-Man 2's" bow in the same territories by 86% and that of the original by 175%.

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

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

Their findings revealed that all 16 bows of the third film adaptation of the comic-book superhero beat the openings days of both "Spider-Man 2" ($15.6 million) and the initial "Spider-Man" ($10.6 million), bested the combined gross of both previous films, and that four territories came up with their biggest single days of all time.

Sony said France's $6.1 million represented the country's biggest opening day of all time, 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).

Germany ($4.6 million) and Japan ($3.7 million) each logged their biggest-ever Tuesday openings, while Italy ($4 million) and Korea ($3.4 million) achieved their biggest openings of all time.

Records 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 United States and Canada," Blake said.
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