‘Spider-Man 3’ returns for seconds

Sony's webslinger to continue winning ways

As “Spider-Man 3” swings into the multiplexes for its second weekend, there’s one record the B.O.- shattering pic looks unlikely to break: biggest opening week ever.

As of Wednesday, “Spider-Man 3” was riding at an estimated $176.1 million. But last year, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” sailed to $196 million in its first week of release.

That gives the wallcrawler precious little time to make up ground after handily snatching other major records, including biggest domestic and worldwide opening weekends.

But whether or not Spidey is able to crack that biggest week number, he’s sure to leave the competish in the dust again after eviscerating last weekend’s only other wide opener, “Lucky You.”

Attempting to enter the multiplexes’ sticky web this weekend will be Universal dramedy “Georgia Rule” — in a wide 2,523 theaters — as well as Fox’s sci-fi sequel “28 Weeks Later,” opening in 2,303.

The webslinger has just one more weekend with such little competish before Paramount and DreamWorks roll out “Shrek the Third.”

Lionsgate has decided to go less wide this weekend with comedy “Delta Farce,” booking the pic into 1,800 locations, and MGM takes the Weinstein Co.’s “The Ex,” starring Zach Braff and formerly known as “Fast Track,” into 1,009. Latter, actually produced by 2929 Prods., was briefly released last year.

In limited release, Samuel Goldwyn heads out with “Blind Dating” and ThinkFilm rolls with “The Hip Hop Project.”

On the foreign front, “Spider-Man 3” is set for another huge weekend after opening with $234 million in its first six days in over 100 markets — $53 million from early launches in 15 territories.

Overseas biz for Spidey tacked on $24.7 million Monday, $18.6 million Tuesday and $17 million Wednesday to lift the international total to $292.5 million. The U.K. leads the pack with $36.2 million in six days, followed by France with $31.4 million in nine days, Japan with $29.7 million in nine days, South Korea with $19.4 million in nine days and Mexico with $15.9 million in six days.

If “Spider-Man 3” declines 50% from the overseas opening-weekend total of $181 million (a figure reached by subtracting the early openings), it will still take in another $90 million internationally during the upcoming weekend.

And by the end of the weekend, “Spider-Man 3” should be approaching the final foreign totals for its predecessors, which took in $418 million (“Spider-Man”) and $410 million (“Spider-Man 2”), and joining the elite club of 23 pics that have topped $400 million in overseas grosses.

Rivals declined to go up against Spidey last weekend in foreign market, but Fox is making a significant counterprogramming push by launching day-and-date openings of “28 Weeks Later” in Australia, the U.K. and most mid-tier Asian markets, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan.

Paramount’s also going the counterprogramming route as its opens Will Ferrell’s “Blades of Glory” in Belgium, Germany, Mexico and Sweden. “Blades” has topped $10 million so far in foreign markets.

Universal’s taking “Mr. Bean’s Holiday,” which is nearing $170 million overseas, into Argentina. Other launches include “Freedom Writers” in Spain, “Shooter” in Poland and Turkey and “Smokin’ Aces” in Japan.

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

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