Big May Day bows in Italy, France, Germany

In its first day of release in 16 markets, Sony’s “Spider-Man 3″ saw the biggest opening day ever in 10, setting records across Asia and Europe.

Pic is easily outpacing the previous two in the series internationally: In its first day of release, sequel raked in $29.2 million, whereas the first two “Spider” pics combined crawled to $26.2 million in those 16 markets on their opening days.

After setting one-day B.O. records across Asia this week, “Spider-Man 3″ continued its winning ways in Europe, drawing the biggest opening-day tallies ever in key markets such as France and Italy and posting big German numbers as well.

Movie broke Italy’s all-time opening-day record, scoring $4 million on 900 screens in its Tuesday bow. That pulverized the existing record of $2.5 million held by “The Da Vinci Code” and tripled the day-one takes of Spidey’s two previous installments.

Sony spent some $3.3 million on marketing “Spider-Man 3″ in Italy, about the same as it invested to launch the franchise’s previous installments. A splashy Rome bow on April 24, with stars and helmer Sam Raimi in tow, gave pic a big boost.

“This is a nice surprise, which bodes well for what promises to be Italy’s biggest summer ever,” Sony Pictures Italia topper Paulo Simoes told Daily Variety.

In France the movie raced to a boffo first-day take of $6.8 million off 778, beating the mark set by the last pic in the “Star Wars” franchise.

According to Gallic box office compilers CBO, the first-day admissions figure of 175,334 is the highest ever for the Paris region, comfortably ahead of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” which drew 124,664 admissions at 52 in 2005.

In Germany, “Spider-Man 3″ grossed $4.6 million from 486,571 admissions on its first day. That puts it on track to easily match the success of the two earlier pics. “Spider-Man” took $1.6 million in its first four days in the country, while “Spider-Man 2″ garnered $10.3 million over four days.

“The warm weather in Germany is not exactly movie-enhancing, but we’re very happy with the results,” Sony’s local managing director, Martin Bachman, told Daily Variety.

Pic also saw the biggest opening day ever in Belgium and in Egypt.

Key openings follow today in territories including China and Russia. Sony didn’t expect to have results for those openings until Friday.

Movie doesn’t hit U.S. or U.K. theaters until May 4.

Pic hit $3.47 million in Japan in its opening day Tuesday, beating out both of the first two pics in the series.

In South Korea, latest entry in the franchise also beat out one-day marks for its predecessors, taking in $3.44 million.

Spidey saw the biggest opening day of all time in Hong Kong with $958,984, besting “Kung Fu Hustle,” the previous record holder.

Pic also drew the biggest ever-opening day of any film in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. In Taiwan, it saw the biggest weekday opening ever.

(David Hayhurst and Alison James in Paris, Ed Meza in Berlin and Adam Dawtrey in London contributed to this report.)

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