The high-flying sequel, which stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst,
earned $40.5 million in its first day of release – setting records
both for an opening day and for a Wednesday – and looks poised to
bag another milestone for the holiday weekend, the New York Daily
Only three films have ever grossed more than $40 million on a single
day, the paper notes; the others were Shrek 2, which did $44.8
million on its fourth day in theaters, and the first Spider-Man, which earned $43.6 million on its second day.
The previous opening-day record was set by the original 2002 comic-book adaptation, which pulled in $39.4 million; that film went on to set the three-day record of $114.8 million.
But comparisons to the original are complicated, Variety notes.
Spider-Man 2 debuted in 537 more theaters than the original and
has the benefit of the long holiday weekend. The trade paper
estimated that the Friday-to-Monday take could be around $110
million, hampered somewhat by competition Sunday from Fourth of July
parades and fireworks.
The big-screen update, which reunites original cast members Maguire,
Dunst and James Franco, and introduces Alfred Molina as a new
supervillain, Dr Octopus ("Doc Ock"), has scored a flurry of critical
raves. MetaCritic.com, a Web site that aggregates surveys of major U.S.
film critics, assigns it a score of 83 (out of 100), making it the
fourth-highest-rated film this year.