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May 7th, 2002

The Amazing "Spider-Man"...


Wow... simply astonishing. Some said it couldn't be done, but the numbers, anticipation and sheer mania prove it. The first big film of the summer, Spider-Man, not only opened with rave reviews, but exceeded industry expectations by smashing records all across the board. Biggest single day gross for Friday, biggest single day gross for Saturday and most importantly, biggest opening weekend ever with 114.4 million dollars. Wow.

Many knew "Spider-Man" would open in first and make a lot of money, but no one thought it'd make THIS much. From an industry, business and film standpoint, it's rather breathtaking. A movie making 100 million dollars in a single weekend? Hell, 100 million is a giant industry standpoint. As you probably know, not a lot of movies each year make that kind of money domestically. It's quite astonishing and has now set a new benchmark. When will the next time a movie gross that kind of cash during a single weekend?

For one thing, "Spider-Man", while opening on a lot of screens, didn't break records on how many screen openings (that goes to last November's smash "Harry Potter and the Sorcercer's Stone"). Speaking of our friend "Harry Potter," (who makes his DVD debut in three weeks), he broke records with his opening last weekend with 90.3 million (now that film has the second best opening). That really seems like nothing. But hey, even if a lot of kids did see Spider-Man over the weekend, there were TONS of adult fans alike. So the older you are, the higher the ticket price usually is. The way I see it, even if a lot of adults did get dragged to see "Harry Potter," a lot of those tickets were kids tickets at cheaper prices. Sure it added up, but I bet if "Harry Potter" had that bigger adult audience "Spider-Man" holds, it would have had a bigger opening. But hey, 114.4 million... wow. I thought it'd be a tad lower as some studio estimates are a little off, but it actually grossed MORE than the original estimates. I bet this will be Columbia's year... they have a giant slate ahead to show off... "Men In Black II," "Stuart Little 2," "XXX" and a few more biggies... but the real question now lies in just a matter of days. Will "Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones" break this record? Will it come close? We'll just have to wait and see!

Obviously accounting for this weekends grosses, everything else seems like nothing. The Scorpion King dropped a spot and dropped another 50 percent, this time making nine million. In third, Changing Lanes took in 5.3 while Murder By Numbers and Life Or Something Like It each took in 3.6 and 3.1. In sixth, The Rookie tied with "Life" by also making 3.1.

In seventh place came the delayed and panned Deuces Wild with a partly and miserable 2.7 million, while Jason X and Ice Age tied with 2.3 each. Finally, Panic Room added another 2 million and should pass 100 million in a matter of weeks now... or come awfully close.

The other opener this week was Hollywood Ending. Like usual, Woody didn't crack the top ten, but that's okay. The good reviews and perhaps good word of mouth should hold. Besides, it only opened in roughly 765 theaters.

Next week we see the release of "Unfaithful" and "The New Guy" (another delayed flick), but the real battle begins with "Episode II" in nine days... I wonder how it'll all play out.


-Zach B.