Landing on the same early May slot as the original, Spider-Man 3 spun an estimated $148 million on over 10,000 screens at 4,252 locations, the biggest opening weekend and widest release ever. The litany includes all-time daily grosses for its $59.3 million Friday, $51 million Saturday and a projected $37.7 million Sunday, fastest to $100 million and the mightiest IMAX debut: an estimated $4.8 million at 84 sites (included in the weekend total), topping 300’s $3.6 million.
The previous weekend title holder, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, reaped $135.6 million on over 8,500 screens at 4,133 locations last July. As impressive as Spider-Man 3 was, it was expected to eclipse that record, given its timing and the popularity and the precedents of its franchise. The first Spider-Man nabbed $114.8 million on 7,500 screens at 3,615 venues in 2002, and was the first movie to crack $100 million in three days. Adjusted for ticket price inflation, its start would equal over $130 million today.
This summer is expected to be the biggest in box office history, with SHREK 3 opening in two weeks, and PIRATES 3 the week after that. Not to mention Harry Potter, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Die Hard Aughts. Big big big.