Spidey Snares Record $40.5 Mil in First Day

07/02/2004 at 01:00 PM EDT

Spidey Snares Record $40.5 Mil in First Day
Spider-Man 2 has netted itself a record opening.

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 News reports.

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.

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