There’s no question about which movie will be No. 1 at the box office this weekend, but just how much will “Spider-Man 3” take in?
After shattering records across Asia and Europe in its midweek openings so far, beating tallies for the last two pics in the franchise, the third Peter Parker tale is on track to do the same at home.
Sony has spun the widest domestic opening weekend ever by booking 4,252 theaters. (“Shrek 2” opened in 4,163 in 2004.)
“Spider-Man 2” hit $40.4 million domestically in its first day in 2004 and drew an opening-weekend tally of $88.1 million.
First pic in the franchise, which passed $400 million domestically in 2002, saw an opening-day take of $39.4 million and a $114.8 million first weekend, according to B.O. service Rentrak.
According to ticket sales service Fandango, more than 100 “Spider-Man 3” midnight shows Friday were sold out, and Sony added further runs at 3 a.m. to accommodate demand.
Site also reported that the movie is selling tickets at six times the rate of “Spider-Man 2” ahead of that pic’s opening weekend. Another site, Movietickets.com, also said that the third entry is well outpacing ticket sales for “Spider-Man 2.”
So the runway has been cleared for “Spider-Man 3” after the domestic B.O.’s dismal three days last weekend.
That’s good news for the pic, which must swing to big-time numbers fast.
“Spider-Man” has just two weekends with little competish before Paramount and DreamWorks Animation unleash “Shrek the Third” on May 18; Disney then sets sail with behemoth “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” on May 25.
Third Spidey pic has posted the biggest-ever opening-day numbers in 10 of the 16 territories in which it has opened.
Meanwhile, there are actually some other films at the multiplexes this weekend.
Warner Bros. goes wide with the Drew Barrymore-Eric Bana pic “Lucky You,” from helmer Curtis Hanson.
In limited release, counterprogramming options include Fox Searchlight’s Sundance acquisition “Waitress,” First Look’s Cannes pic “Paris je t’aime” and Lionsgate’s Toronto pickup “Away From Her.”
On the foreign front, just a few openings have been set for this weekend in international markets as “Spider-Man 3” bows around the world.
Successful holdover pics such as “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” and “Wild Hogs” will likely be the biggest non-Spidey contributors to the international wickets this weekend.
(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)