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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Record opening for Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2
The blockbuster sequel has opened to good reviews
Spider-Man 2 made a record-breaking debut in the US on Wednesday, making $40.5m (22.2m) on it first day in movie theatres across North America.

"We are off to a phenomenal start," Jeff Blake, vice-chairman of the film's distributor Sony, said on Thursday.

The film broke the $39.4m (21.6m) record set by the original Spider-Man film on its first day two years ago.

Analysts in the US say the film has a strong chance of breaking single-day records over the 4 July weekend.

Spider-Man 2 could also break the $114.8m (63.4m) three-day US box-office record held by the original Spider-Man film, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of film box-office analysts Exhibitor Relations.

I remember when $40m was a big opening weekend for a movie not that long ago
Paul Dergarabedian
Exhibitor Relations

The record-breaking first day figure proved even more exceptional because the film opened on a Wednesday instead of the normal Friday.

"We're in uncharted territory looking at midweek numbers this big," Mr Dergarabedian said.

Rings record

"I remember when $40m was a big opening weekend for a movie not that long ago, and now that's a single day in the middle of the week."

The previous best debut for a Wednesday opening was set by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King last December, which made $34.5m (18.9m).

Mr Dergarabedian said Spider-Man 2 also had a high chance of breaking the $44.8m (24.6m) single-day box office record recently set by animated sequel Shrek 2 on the Saturday of the film's opening weekend.

Spider-Man 2, which opens in the UK on 15 July, reunites leading man Tobey Maguire with co-star Kirsten Dunst and director Sam Raimi.

Sony had originally planned for the film to come out on Friday 2 July in the US, but brought it forward to a Wednesday opening to capitalise on the four-day 4 July holiday weekend.

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