Spidey snares India

Sequel sets opening-day, weekend records

NEW DELHI — “Spider-Man 2” swung into India over the weekend, knocking aside all box office records by a foreign-language movie, and sidelining traditional Bollywood fare.

Released on 303 screens, the equivalent of a major Hindi-lingo release, “Spider-Man 2” raked in 77.5 million rupees ($1.6 million) in its opening weekend. It was a 45% improvement on the previous record, held by the first “Spider-Man.”

Movie also notched a record opening-day gross for any foreign-language film in India, with $474,000 Friday.

Sunday, it set the record for the largest single-day gross for any foreign-lingo pic in India, taking in $570,000.

Sinking ‘Titanic’

The sequel is expected to become the top Hollywood grosser in India and top the $11.2 million posted by “Titanic,” industry analysts predicted.

“It will beat all opposition in Hindi and English. Spider-Man is not just an international brand, but also an Indian brand. People identify with it,” said analyst Tarun Adarsh.

The original “Spider-Man” was the third-highest foreign movie grosser in India, with a take of $5.77 million, just behind “Godzilla.”

The film has been more heavily promoted in India than any other foreign movie, including life-size Spider-Man dolls being strung up on huge nets between trees near shops selling merchandise ranging from mobile phones to corn flakes.

The film has been dubbed in three Indian languages and is also screening in the original English version.

Its release has forced many Bollywood films to be pushed back to next month.

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