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Tobey Maguire stars as Spider-Man in Spider-Man 3.
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Spider-Man spent the weekend spinning a worldwide web of pure gold.

“Spider-Man 3,” bringing back Tobey Maguire as the red-suited comic hero Peter Parker and Kirsten Dunst as his girlfriend, did practically everything in its first three days except win “American Idol.”

cover art

Spider-Man 3

Director: Sam Raimi
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard

(Sony; US theatrical: 4 May 2007 (General release); 2007)

It set all-time box-office records by earning $59 million its first day, $148 million for the weekend and $375 million worldwide. The per-theater average of $34,802 is also the highest ever.

“It’s all good,” said Rory Breur, president of distribution for Sony Pictures. “The stars were aligned. You always feel a little angst before you open, but we knew everything about this picture pointed to success.”

Fans Joshua Gaines, 13, and his father, Jose, traveled to Times Square because the Grand Concourse multiplex near their home in the Bronx was sold out.

“All the kids in school are going to be talking about it tomorrow,” said Jose Gaines. “I don’t want him to be left out.”

The teen said he’s always liked Spider-Man because “he has a goal to finish school, he’s a smart kid and he cares for his family a lot. And that’s what I want to do.”

Not everyone came out of the flick feeling unconditional love.

“It was better than the second, not as good as the first,” said Brian Muldrew, 28, of Manhattan. “They might have tried to pack too much into it.”

“Spider-Man 3” outpaced the openings of both its predecessors, which is fortunate, because it cost a lot more - $258 million, officially, but some reports say it could be closer to half a billion.

Breur said Sony isn’t worried.

“When you start like this,” he said, “it’s hard to find a negative.”

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