Spidey smashes India records

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NEW DELHI -- Reflecting its global boxoffice dominance, India also witnessed records being set by "Spider-Man 3," which became the biggest ever foreign film to open here by grossing $4.8 million over the May 4-6 weekend.

The film outpaced previous record-holder "Casino Royale," also released here by "Spider-Man 3" distributor Sony Pictures Releasing of India (SPRI), which opened with $ 3.7 million. "Spider-Man 3" is also the fastest foreign film to reach the $2.5 million mark in its first two days of release, with $1.7 million collected on the first day, another record for any foreign film.

In terms of prints released, "Spider-Man 3" is the biggest release here for a foreign film with 588 prints dubbed in various languages, including three IMAX prints.

"We're off to a dream debut," said Sony Pictures Releasing of India managing director Uday Singh. "The summer movie season could not have asked for a better way to begin. Backed by a strong marketing campaign, synergy partnerships from the Sony Group Companies and our brand alliances, we took this franchise to a much wider audience base."

So far, the top grossing Hollywood film in India has been "Titanic" which collected $13.8 million.

The film's strong opening is also attributed to the fact that there isn't any strong domestic product in competition in a market where foreign films only command a minority 4% share.

A recent report by PricewaterHouseCoopers for industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) noted that in 2006 Hollywood films grossed $60 million from roughly 74 films released.
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