Spidey kicks off season for Sony


Sony Pictures bookended the summer with two movies, the high-flying "Spider-Man 3" and the low-down "Superbad" that distinguished themselves by each holding on to the top spot in the weekend listings for two frames in a row.

"Spider-Man 3," with Sam Raimi again directing the super-hero face-offs, kicked off the summer in high style. In May, the movie grabbed the title of biggest opening weekend of all time — $151.1 million — away from "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," which established the $135.6 million bar last summer. Fighting off competition later in the month from "Shrek the Third" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Spider-Man 3" swung to $336.5 million to become the summer's top-grossing movie, though it fell short of the original "Spider-Man's" $403.7 million and "Spider-Man 2's" $373.6 million.

In mid-August, the studio, led by Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal, staged a final surge when "Superbad," the Judd Apatow-produced ode to teenage hormones, opened to an unexpectedly strong $33 million and then grossed $92.7 million by the end of the Labor Day weekend.

In between the two movies, though, Sony rested. The animated penguins movie "Surf's Up," from the studio's own Sony Animation, was a major disappointment, stalling at $58.9 million. "I Know Who Killed Me," and "Daddy Day Camp" simply made a pit stop at theaters on the way to the DVD rack.