Spiderman breaks records

8 05 2007

Five years after Spider-Man made box office history, the franchise amazed again, breaking the same records of the first movie and then some.

Landing on the same early May slot as the original, Spider-Man 3 spun $151.1 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 $59.8 million Friday, $51.3 million Saturday and $39.9 million Sunday, fastest to $100 million and the mightiest IMAX debut: $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.

Ultimately, Spider-Man grossed $403.7 million (or nearly $460 million adjusted), while the Pirates sequel closed with $423.3 million. Muted by a Wednesday start and Independence Day release, Spider-Man 2 had an $88.2 million first weekend and it wound up with $373.6 million (or around $396 million adjusted).

Distributor Sony, which claims Spider-Man 3 cost $258 million to make, hoped to at least match the first Spider-Man’s opening or hit the $120 million range, according to president of distribution Rory Bruer. “The majority of audiences we polled liked this one better than the first two,” Bruer added, while opening night moviegoer pollster CinemaScore’s grade was “B+.” Sony’s polling further indicated that the audience was 54 percent male and 63 percent under 25 years old.

The market as a whole grossed $189.6 million over the weekend, with Spider-Man 3 accounting for 80 percent of that tally. Indeed, the gap between Spider-Man 3 and second place Disturbia was the largest on record. That’s no slight on Disturbia, a hit in its own right enjoying the weekend’s strongest hold among wide releases, but a sign of how low the box office fell the past two weeks.

Overall business saw a 72 percent improvement over last summer’s kick-off, when Mission: Impossible III opened, and attendance was on par with 2002 when the first Spider-Man debuted with 70 percent market share.

Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana in Lucky You

The weekend’s other wide release, Lucky You, folded out of the gate, drawing $2.7 million at 2,525 venues. It was among the weakest starts ever for a very wide release. Distributor Warner Bros. had batted the poker romance around the release schedule since 2005.

At the foreign box office, Spider-Man 3 captured another record: biggest overall weekend, with $230.5 million from 107 countries since Tuesday. Add in domestic’s $151.1 million and, all told, Spider-Man 3 generated $381.7 million, which tops Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’s $303.9 million as the highest-grossing worldwide debut of all time—a notable feat but one achieved mostly through the sheer mass of the release. (BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Possible changes in store for The Incredible Hulk

23 04 2007

We open the week with a pair of rumors regarding The Incredible Hulk. Could the green giant end up being … not so green? Plus, buzz tells us that mega-hottie Jessica Biel might be showing up in the semi-sequel.
While describing the next Hulk flick, producer Avi Arad used a phrase that might have meant nothing — or maybe it didn’t. “It’s a new Hulk, new direction, new size, new color, new attitude. Anything that was done before is not in this movie,” is what the Marvel guru had to say. Wait, what? “New color?” What’s that all about? Either he meant a slightly different shade of green, an entirely different color altogether, or perhaps the grey shade that the Hulk used to be back in the earrrrly comic days. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…
Additional speculation indicates that Ms. Jessica Biel is being considered for a part in the second Hulk adventure — although that’s being listed as pure rumor at this point. If so, she’d be re-joining her Illusionist co-star Edward Norton in a decidedly different type of film. (JoBlo’s Movie Emporium)

Spiderman franchise far from over

23 04 2007

With Spider-Man 3 nearing its opening and the lead actors and director’s contracts up, the fate of a second trilogy, or even a fourth film, is up in the air. Sam Raimi confirmed that the studio, Columbia Pictures, is interested in making parts 4, 5 and 6, but he would only come back if he could maintain the same passion.
“If I didn’t think I could do it fantastically, than I should step aside and let a younger director come in who loves the character and said he could do it with the greatest passion on the earth,” said Raimi.
With reports that Tobey Maguire said he would absolutely not do a fourth film, Maguire himself expressed no such feelings. He said he would consider it if there was a great story and Raimi and other cast members were back. So what of those other quotes?
“I’m not sure,” said Maguire. “That’s not what I’m saying now. I think early on through one and two I always imagined this as like three and out, lIke I’d do three and that would be enough for those. I’m not saying I will do a fourth one at all. I’m saying I’m not committed either way and we’ll see what happens.’
Weighing in on the Tobey Maguire casting debate, Raimi would have trouble recasting if he retained the helm. “I would have to make that choice based on what the story is and what the characters are. It would be very hard to be involved without Tobey and Kirsten for me at least.’
For Marvel producer Avi Arad, it is inconceivable that Spider-Man would end for any of the above reasons. “You have to look at it as Spider-Man is over 40 years old, in so many media from animation to comic books to graphic novels, maybe Broadway, video games, probably the most successful video games of all time,” said Arad. “So the character is bigger than all of us. I think we’d rather continue of course with Sam and the whole team. We’ve been together for a long time. The fact is that the character will endure. Spider-Man survived, believe me, bankruptcies, bad economies, you name it. And it’s around and alive and bigger than ever.”

The Silver Surfer gets a voice

20 04 2007

Laurence Fishburne has signed on to voice the Silver Surfer for Twentieth Century Fox in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which opens June 15. Contrary to the Internet rumors that Fishburne would take on the villainous role of Galactus, the actor will embody the hotly anticipated, sleekly CG’d metallic surfer for the summer sequel. Fishburne most recently lent his vocal talent to Warner Bros. Pictures’ TMNT as the film’s narrator and is currently voicing a character in the Dirty Harry video game. With its release sandwiched just three weeks after the third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean and three weeks before Transformers, Fantastic Four‘s success is expected to be largely dependent on the strength of the Silver Surfer character and whether it is deemed cool enough to bring the fanboys to the theater. (Variety)

Norton to be… The Hulk

16 04 2007

norton_l.jpgEdward Norton will play Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk, taking over the role played by Eric Bana in the first Hulk movie. Louis Leterrier (Transporter 2) will direct with an eye on a June 13, 2008 release. The movie begins with Banner on the run, trying to avoid capture long enough to cure the condition that turns him into the Hulk. The script was written by Zak Penn, who helped write the two X-Men films, Fantastic Four, and Elektra for Marvel Studios. Marvel reportedly wants the Hulk sequel to be less self-serious and more in line with the comic book and TV series than the Ang Lee-directed first movie. (Variety)

First look at Iron Man

11 04 2007

Here is the first glimpse of titular character from Jon Favreau take on the comic book hero. The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow and opens nationwide on May 2, 2008.
My guess is that is this beginning, an early incarnation of the infamous suit wore by Tony Stark.

A history lesson of the origin of Spidey’s black suit

28 03 2007

687new_storyimage4729685_full.jpgVenom. In comic circles, it’s a name that conjures up images of a murderous, hulking creature garbed in a twisted, black version of Spider-Man’s costume. For fans eagerly awaiting Spider-Man 3, the black costume–and the inevitable rise of Venom–could signal the end for Peter Parker. But what’s the story behind the alien costume that would come to be one of Spider-Man’s most feared foes? Read on to find out!
It all began during the battle dubbed Secret Wars, when Spider-Man found a machine he thought to be a fabric replicator. Reaching for the black sphere produced by the alien machine, Peter Parker’s arm, then his entire body, became engulfed in black goo. The substance seemed to acknowledge Peter’s thoughts and oozing over Spidey’s body, fashioned itself into a new outfit for the Web-Slinger. Now sporting a black variation of his original costume, Spider-Man found that the suit not only augmented his abilities, it also possessed some powers of its own; the suit generated its own supply of webbing and could change appearances according to Spidey’s thoughts.
687new_storyimage4729696_full.jpgReturning to Earth, Peter soon discovered that the suit had a mind of its own, using Peter’s body while he was sleeping. Peter brought the suit to Reed Richards, and the two learned that the suit was actually a symbiotic life form that had physically and psychically bonded to Peter. Reed needed to use powerful sonic waves to forcefully separate the symbiote from Peter. Contained in the Fantastic Four’s headquarters, the symbiote eventually escaped and returned to Peter’s home. Camouflaging itself as an old red and blue costume, Peter unknowingly put the symbiote back on. Peter broke the symbiote’s hold over him by using the loud sounds in a church bell-tower. After splitting with the symbiote, Peter watched it slither away, assuming it would die in its weakened state.
Unfortunately for Peter, the symbiote fell inside the church where journalist Eddie Brock prayed. Brock wrote an article revealing the identity of a murderer called the Sin-Eater, but Spider-Man exposed the true identity of the killer and in the process caused Eddie to lose his job and spiral into depression. Sensing Brock’s hatred of Spider-Man, the symbiote bonded with the dejected reporter.
As Venom, Brock possessed the same powers Peter had with the symbiote, but had two advantages crucial to hunting Spider-Man: he knew Spider-Man’s secret identity and the symbiote could shield Brock from Peter’s spider-sense. While Venom operated under a twisted moral code of innocence, he battled Spider-Man on numerous occasions, becoming a sinister rival not seen since Peter fought the original Green Goblin. Though they sometimes fought side-by-side, Venom was ever a thorn in Spider-Man’s side.