News

'Spider-Man' Nets More Records with $71.4 Million Second Weekend

by Brandon Gray
May 12, 2002

Spider-Man's not only a sprinter but a marathon runner as well.

After shattering every opening record imaginable with its $114,844,116 opening weekend, Spider-Man has pulled off another amazing feat: Sony's $130 million Marvel Comics adaptation bucked the second-weekend slump that has plagued most saturation releases of late.

Spider-Man snared $71,417,527 from 3,615 theaters, down just 38%. By comparison, The Mummy Returns unraveled 50% in its sophomore session on the same weekend last year, going from $68.1 million to $33.7 million. Marvel stable mate X-Men devolved 57% from its $54.5 million start to $23.5 million two summers ago. To put Spidey's hold into further perspective, the movies that bowed to $40 million or more last summer tumbled 54% on average in their second weekends

Just as Spider-Man soared past Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone's $90.3 million opening record, the famed webslinger also beat the boy wizard in another category—biggest second weekend ever. Buoyed by the Thanksgiving holiday, Potter conjured $57.5 million in its comparable frame, $14.5 million less than Spidey.

For a movie to scale such unprecedented heights and then keep nearly two-thirds of that audience is a marvel to behold in this era of one-weekend wonders.

Pitting Spidey's second weekend against all weekends, it ranks No. 4 overall, topped by only itself and the openings of Harry Potter and The Lost World: Jurassic Park ($72.1 million). It even matches Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace's opening after ticket price inflation is taken into account. The Phantom Menace's $64.8 million would equal around $72 million today.

Spider-Man has captured $223,040,031 in just 10 days, handily becoming the fastest movie to hit $200 million. It reached that milestone on Saturday, its ninth day of release, besting former title holder The Phantom Menace's 13-day sprint.

On Friday, Spider-Man eclipsed Ice Age's $170.8 million to become the highest grossing picture of 2002. Since last weekend, it leapt 149 spots on the all time chart to No. 29, landing between Rush Hour 2's $226,164,286 and Mrs. Doubtfire's $219,195,243 and excelling past the final tallies of such other movies as Mission: Impossible 2 ($215,409,889), The Mummy Returns ($202,019,785) and Batman Forever ($184,031,112).

Breaking the weekend down, Spider-Man reeled in $19,906,574 on Friday, jumped 53.2% to $30,505,929 on Saturday, and then eased 31.1% to $21,005,024 on Sunday. At this rate, it should hit $240 million by the time Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones opens at 3,100 theaters and 6,100 prints on Thursday.

By the end of its run, Spider-Man could weave his way to around $390 million, enough to surpass Jurassic Park ($357,067,947) as the fifth highest grossing picture ever and to secure a place in the top 40 after on the adjusted-for-inflation list.

Meanwhile, the erotic thriller Unfaithful, a Cotton Club reunion of Richard Gere and Diane Lane, attracted $14,065,277 for second place. That's a career best for Gere in a top-billed role, topping his previous high of $11,280,591 for Pretty Woman. However, moviegoers polled by CinemaScore on opening night gave Unfaithful a C+, suggesting that it may suffer from poor word-of-mouth. With About a Boy, Enough and other high profile Spider-Man-Star Wars counter-programming on its heels, adult audiences may be tempted away from Unfaithful in coming weeks.

Originally scheduled to be released over a year ago, the $13 million teen comedy The New Guy starring Road Trip's DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku and Eddie Griffin finally enrolled at 2,687 theaters and scored $9,007,833, giving distributor Sony something else to smile about in the wake of its Spider-Man cash cow.

On Saturday, Sony offered a sneak preview of Enough. Playing with Panic Room, the 593 theaters showing the Jennifer Lopez thriller were at 60% capacity, the audience skewing female (55%) and over the age of 25 (55%).

Also sneaking was Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron at 500 venues. DreamWorks' animated feature played to 70% capacity with 90% of moviegoers checking the "excellent" or "very good" boxes, according to the studio. Families made up 88% of the audience, while the children in attendance skewed female (58%).

Both pictures face-off on May 24—Memorial Day weekend—opposite the Al Pacino-Robin Williams thriller Insomnia, which has no sneaks planned.

Click here to view the weekend chart.

The top 12 pictures grossed $115.3 million with Spider-Man accounting for nearly two thirds of that sum. Business was down 24% from last weekend's $152.3 million haul but up a whopping 62% over the $71.1 million of the same frame last year when The Mummy Returns unwrapped $33.7 million in its second weekend on course to $202 million. A Knight's Tale was the sole wide release to debut, claiming second place with $16.5 million from 2,980 theaters en route to $56.1 million.



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