Webslinger adds $60 million to tally
Sony’s friendly neighborhood “Spider-Man” stuck another $60 million in his web over the weekend, sending the third chapter in the Marvel superhero franchise soaring to more than $242 million.“Spider-Man 3” dipped a hefty 60% in its second North American frame, but the drop was in line with expectations after the pic posted the biggest opening ever, both in North America and abroad, last weekend. “When you consider how huge our opening was, and the terrific midnight and late shows we had, (this drop) is realistic,” said Rory Bruer, Sony distribution topper. Third Peter Parker tale took in another $85.5 million from international markets to top $622 million worldwide over the weekend, according to studio estimates. The previous record holder for biggest ever domestic opening, Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” dropped 54% in its second weekend last year. Spidey has had two open weekends to rack up ticket sales before the competish gets much more fierce, as “Shrek the Third” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” ready to set sail. Though the weekend competish didn’t stand a chance against Spidey, the pic bolstered overall B.O.: Top 10 pics, according to numbers crunchers Rentrak, hit $94.1 million combined. A year ago, with “Mission: Impossible III” in the lead, the top 10 comprised just $80.8 million. “Spider-Man 3” stayed strong in 4,252 theaters — the widest release of all time — with a second weekend per-location average of $14,111. Pic is handily beating out the past two “Spider-Man” pics. (In its second frame, “Spider-Man” stood at $223 million, while the second Spidey pic had cumed $225 million.) Counter-programming against “Spider-Man” proved a tall task once again, as no other pic brought in more than $10 million pitted opposite the webhead over the weekend. Fox Atomic’s “28 Weeks Later,” the zombie sequel, scared up $10 million from 2,303 locations in its debut as a distant No. 2. Pic, however, did open comparably to Searchlight’s previous “28 Days Later,” which bowed to $10.1 million in 2003. That film wound up with $45.1 million, according to Nielsen EDI data. Among other new releases, Universal’s “Georgia Rule” — starring Jane Fonda and Lindsay Lohan — bowed in the No. 3 slot with $5.8 million from 2,523 theaters. Pic made headlines during production for Lohan’s off-screen antics. Lionsgate’s “Delta Farce” — a military comedy — shot down $3.5 from 1,931 locations. And MGM’s release of the Weinstein Co.’s “The Ex” — previously known as “Fast Track” — bowed in 11th place, with $1.3 million. Laffer, starring Zach Braff and Amanda Peet, was produced by 2929 Entertainment and This Is That. Among holdovers, Paramount and DreamWorks’ “Disturbia” slipped a soft 18% as the PG-13 teen thriller continued to do biz after five weeks. Pic, which finished fourth, has so far cumed $66.2 million as one of the year’s reasonably budgeted breakouts. New Line’s legal thriller “Fracture” drew up $2.9 million over the weekend to bring its cume after a month in release to $30.9 million. “Fracture” dropped a slight 22% as most holdovers had little dips after posting anemic returns last weekend against “Spider-Man 3.” Also in the top 10, Disney had two pics, No. 5 “The Invisible,” which took in $2.2 million to bring its cume to $15.5 million after three weekends, and CG pic “Meet the Robinsons,” which eked a bit further toward the $100 million mark at No. 10. “Hot Fuzz,” the U.K. cop spoof from Focus’ Rogue label, kept turnstiles spinning, staying in the top 10 at No. 8 and raising its total to date to just under $19 million. Nicolas Cage vehicle “Next” dropped a bit more sharply than the rest of the pics at the bottom of the charts: 45%. Pic has taken in a tepid $14.6 million in three weekends. In limited release, Samuel Goldwyn’s “Blind Dating” saw $64,010 from 74 screens. Pic is a romantic comedy about a blind virgin. ThinkFilm’s urban “The Hip Hop Project” rapped to $40,150 in 15 markets. Per-screen average came to just $956 from 42 prints. Searchlight expanded its platform release of Sundance pic “Waitress” in its second weekend, by 65 screens, and served up another $636,000 to bring the pic’s total cume so far to $788,000. Lionsgate added 54 screens to its release of “Away From Her.” Pic has taken in $490,000 over two frames.