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Spider-Man Sinks Pirates in Opening Salvo of the Summer Battle

May 7th, 2007

Now that's what the Summer is all about. With Spider-man 3, the blockbuster season got off to a record-breaking start and that lifted the overall box office to amazing heights. Last weekend was one of the worst weekends in a long time, but Spider-man 3 alone earned nearly twice as much as the previous week's total box office and, adding in the holdovers, the 3-day take of $190 million was 144% more than last weekend, and already ranks as the fourth-biggest single weekend in history with reports for some movies still to come in (see the full list). More importantly, it is 72% more than the same weekend last year. Granted, last Summer got off to a slow start, but this is still a huge year-to-year increase and a very good omen for the season as a whole.

As expected, Spider-man 3 crushed the competition, but even the high end predictions were not high enough for the display of box office dominance put on by the super hero. The film earned $151.1 million over the weekend, breaking not only the opening weekend box office record, but the biggest single day, biggest opening day, biggest Friday, biggest Saturday, biggest Sunday, tying the record for fastest to $100 million, and that's not to mention the international records.

While this was an incredible debut, and a big drop-off might be expected, there are still some strong signs for the future. For instance, its internal multiplier was 2.53, which is rather strong given the film's Fanboy Effect, Sequelitis, etc. Even with reviews that were not up to the same level of the previous two installments of the franchise, it should still have strong legs, cracking $200 million by Friday and $300 million by the time Shrek the Third opens.

On the other hand, I think it is time to put the franchise to bed, at least for a few years. You don't want Spider-Man 4 to turn into Batman and Robin or Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

Second place did not go to the other new release, but to a holdover. Disturbia showed fantastic resilience in the face of such a indomitable foe, dropping only 35% to $5.8 million, while its running tally was just able to top $60 million. I think this is a clear sign that Shia Labeouf has a big career ahead of him, especially with major roles in The Transformers later this summer and Indiana Jones 4 next summer.

Fracture actually rose a spot to third with $3.7 million, down less than 50% and in line with expectations. However, its running tally of $26.7 million is still disappointing. Perhaps the glut of thrillers that opened in April hurt its chances to stand out. Given its reviews, it should find an audience on the home market at least.

The Invisible was also in line with expectations after adding $3.3 million over the weekend for a total of $12.5 million. Meanwhile, Next was a surprise entry in the top five, earning $2.9 million over the weekend for a total of just under $12.0 million.

That left the other new release, Lucky You, out of the top five with a mere $2.7 million. Add in poor reviews and a per theater average of barely more than $1,000 and this film will disappear very quickly.

Moving onto the sophomore class, there were two members that didn't reach the top five. In fact, they failed to reach the top ten. The Condemned placed 12th with $1.3 million over the weekend and $6.2 million in total while Kickin' It Old Skool wasn't even able to crack $1 million, adding $834,000 over the weekend for a total of just $3.8 million. Both films will evaporate this weekend and will be just a faint memory the weekend after.


Filed under: Spider-Man 3, Disturbia, Fracture, The Invisible, Next, The Condemned, Lucky You, Kickin It Old Skool