WAITING FOR SPIDEY

It may have taken in only $9 million, but Paramount's Disturbia remained at the top of the box office for the third week in a row over the weekend. Analysts were checking record books attempting to discover when -- if ever -- a film had pulled off a box-office hat trick with such little revenue in its third week. It was the lowest take for a No. 1 film since The Covenant last September, a month that studios generally write off because kids are returning to school. Disney's The Invisible, which had received little advance publicity, had generated little buzz, and was not screened for critics, finished in second place with $7.7 million -- the best of three debuts. which also included Next with $7.1 million and The Condemned with $3.8 million. The total box office was down 31 percent from the comparable week a year ago. However, all that is due to change with the release of Spider-Man 3 on Friday.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):

1. Disturbia, Paramount, $9,023,835, 3 Wks. ($52,109,598); 2. The Invisible, Disney, $7,717,309, (New); 3. Next, Paramount, $7,133,049, (New); 4. Fracture, New Line, $6,814,714, 2 Wks. ($21,075,259); 5. Blades of Glory, Paramount, $5,164,364, 5 Wks. ($108,050,741); 6. Hot Fuzz, Focus Features, $4,876,867, 2 Wks. ($12,601,055); 7. Meet the Robinsons, Disney, $4,840,972, 5 Wks. ($88,354,540); 8. Vacancy, Screen Gems, $4,112,502, 2 Wks. ($13,780,060); 9. The Condemned, Lionsgate, $3,807,595, (New); 10. Are We Done Yet?, Sony, $3,450,922, 4 Wks. ($43,868,838).

MAGUIRE ALTERS HIS WEB SIGHT

Tobey Maguire, who had initially indicated that the third Spider-Man movie would be his last, has said that he is open to the possibility of signing on for additional sequels. "It all depends on if there's a great story for me, Peter Parker," Maguire said Monday on NBC's Today show. Interviewed by co-host Meredith Vieira, Maguire remarked, "We just have a lot of fun making the movies. ... We want to make it more exciting, more fun for the fans, and we're just trying to satisfy ourselves at the same time. ... We're like a little family unit now. We've made three movies together."

DIE HARD BUZZ HARD TO BELIEVE

Suggesting that it is sometimes difficult to sort the buzz from the hype, the Hollywood Reporter was being castigated by numerous film-related websites Monday for a report suggesting that the upcoming Live Free or Die Hard could be "the sleeper hit of the season." The trade publication cited research by Nielsen BuzzMetrics, which measures Internet discussions of upcoming films, noting that the film had received nearly twice as many mentions on blogs as Spider-Man 3 and dwarfed those for Shrek the Third and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. On Monday, however, several blogs noted, that much of the buzz about the June 27 release of Live Free or Die Hard was negative and that other blogs suggested that the Pirates sequel is the most anticipated movie of the summer. Movie buzz reports have been notoriously dicey this year, particularly in the recent case of Grindhouse, the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez film that produced a ton of Internet chatter but tanked at the box office. None of that has discouraged the Nielsen company, which announced today (Tuesday) that it is acquiring the 42 percent of BuzzMetrics that it does not already own (for a reported $100 million) and plans to combine the company with Nielsen-NetRatings. Nielsen also owns the Hollywood Reporter.

CHINA AND RUSSIA WORLD'S TOP PIRATES, SAYS U.S. TRADE REP

China and Russia remain the two countries where film piracy flourishes to the greatest extent, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab said Monday in the introduction to a report on international efforts to protect intellectual property rights (IPR). Responding to official Chinese indignation over the U.S.'s decision to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization over China's allegedly lax efforts to halt piracy, Schwab said, "Our recent decision to pursue IPR-related concerns in China through consultations under WTO dispute settlement rules demonstrates our determination to defend vigorously American innovation." In a statement, MPAA head Dan Glickman praised the report but criticized the trade representative for not including Canada in the top ranks of film thieves. "Canada is now, and has been for some time, a haven for camcord thieves who are often linked to highly organized criminal networks that profit handsomely from their activities," Glickman said.

300 RECEIVES MOST NODS FOR MTV MOVIE AWARDS

In a surprise, the epic fantasy film 300 has received the most nominations -- five -- for the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. They included nods for best movie and best performance (Gerard Butler). Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest received four nominations. The awards are due to be handed out on June 3 at ceremonies hosted by Sarah Silverman and produced by Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice).

Brian B.