‘Spider-Man 3′ Busts Box-Office Records With Amazing Opening Weekend

Sequel earns $148 million, breaks records including biggest day and opening weekend.

The Top Five

#1 “Spider-Man 3″ ($148 million)
#2 “Disturbia” ($5.7 million)
#3 “Fracture” ($3.4 million)
#4 “The Invisible” ($3.1 million)
#5 “Next” ($2.8 million)

Stan Lee had it right. In 45 years, at least a dozen different comic series, through TV shows, albums, video games and now three wildly successful movies, there is still only one word to describe Spider-Man: amazing.

“Spider-Man 3″ broke numerous records on its way toward the biggest opening weekend in history. (Its gargantuan haul of $148 million was nearly $13 million more than the previous record holder, last year’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”) The flick made $59.3 million on Friday alone, giving it the single-day record, and then made $51 million the following day. To put those numbers in some sort of perspective, “Spider-Man 3″ made more money on Friday than runner-up “Disturbia” made in four weeks up to that point — and more money on Saturday than every other film in release made throughout the whole weekend combined.

If every man, woman and child from the United States, Canada, and the entire continent of Australia gave you a dollar, you’d have approximately $370 million — or about $5 million less than “Spider-Man 3″ has made worldwide since debuting May 1 — and that, dear readers, is the most amazing thing of all.

Spidey can also boast the biggest ever IMAX debut (Amazing!), the record for fastest film to reach $100 million (Amazing!), and the biggest gap between first and second place films in history. (Mildly amazing!)

Amid all the hoopla, Shia LaBeouf’s “Disturbia” actually didn’t perform all that badly, falling only 37 percent during its fourth weekend to come in second place with $5.7 million. “Fracture,” “The Invisible,” and “Next” rounded out the top five.

“Lucky You,” a poker drama starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore, was the only other new film in wide release. It went all-in against the anthropomorphic arachnid and came up empty, finishing in sixth place with $2.5 million.

How’d We Do?

It’s “Enter Sandman” for the box-office gurus at MTV, who once again seemed to be asleep while making their picks. (Ouch, that was a bit Venom-ous.) Either we’re getting out of touch or celebrities are suddenly studying box-office returns with greater care, because for the fourth time in five weeks, neither Larry nor Josh came out a winner. “The Ex” star Zach Braff knew in his bones that “Spider-Man 3″ would break the opening-weekend record (see “Projection Booth: Zach Braff Says ‘Spider-Man 3′ Will Make A Zillion Bucks” ), so while his prediction of $136 million was low, it was close enough to the final tally that we award him the crown.

Prognosticator (Weeks Won)
Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor (14)
Larry Carroll, MTV News writer (8)
Celebrity guests (5)

In Perspective

Blame higher ticket prices, wider release schedules or mushrooming multiplexes if you care to, but the fact that “Spider-Man 3″ broke the record for biggest opening weekend only a year after “Pirates” did isn’t really an anomaly. The record has been held by 22 films since “Jaws” in 1975, and by three films in both 1978 and 1989. During the last 30 years, a new film has worn the crown every couple of years on average. Here are the last five to lay claim to the throne:

#1 “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Man’s Chest” ($135.6 million), 2006
#2 “Spider-Man” ($114.8 million), 2002
#3 “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” ($90.3 million), 2001
#4 “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” ($72.1 million), 1997
#5 “Batman Forever” ($52.8 million), 1995

Next Week

Don’t tell our most recent Projection Booth winner, but there’ll be no stopping “Spider-Man 3″ next weekend either, which means the new releases — including Mr. Braff’s “The Ex” — will all be fighting for second place. Among them are “Georgia Rule,” a dramedy starring Lindsay Lohan and Jane Fonda, “Delta Farce,” a broad comedy with Larry the Cable Guy and his big mouth, and “28 Weeks Later,” a zombie sequel featuring Robert Carlyle and a whole bunch of “braaaiinnns.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Spider-Man 3.”

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