SHREK GETS SET TO STOMP SPIDEY

"A little short but still socko" -- that's the way Daily Variety described the final weekend box-office figures for Spider-Man 3, which fell $1.9 million short of the studio's estimate Sunday of $60 million. The $58.1 million represents a slide of more than 60 percent from Spider-Man 3's record-breaking opening weekend. It will continue to play in 4,252 theaters -- the widest domestic release in history. Analysts predict that the Sony film will take a similar dive next weekend when it is forced to compete with the debut of DreamWorks Animation's Shrek the Third.

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. Spider-Man 3, Sony, $58,166,256, 2 Wks. ($240,236,828); 2. 28 Weeks Later, Fox Atomic, $9,807,292, (New); 3. Georgia Rule, Universal, $6,773,870, (New); 4. Disturbia, Paramount, $4,732,839, 5 Wks. ($66,220,865); 5. Delta Farce, Lionsgate, $3,420,645, (New); 6. Fracture, New Line, $2,953,145, 4 Wks. ($31,032,946); 7. The Invisible, Disney, $2,315,286, 3 Wks. ($15,569,122); 8. Meet The Robinsons, Disney, $1,802,543, 7 Wks. ($94,296,510); 9. Next, Paramount, $1,738,056, 3 Wks. ($14,738,075); 10. Hot Fuzz, Focus Features, $1,716,670, 4 Wks. ($18,991,668).

"GOLLUM" TECHNOLOGY TO BE USED FOR TINTIN MOVIES

Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson intend to use performance-capture technology -- used to create the character of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies -- to turn Georges Remi's comic-book drawings in his Adventures of Tintin series into three features that will be shot back-to-back beginning next year, Daily Variety reported today (Tuesday). The trade publication said that the three films -- one will be directed by Spielberg, another by Jackson; there is no decision on who will direct the third -- will likely be released through DreamWorks Animation. It quoted Spielberg as saying that the drawings by Remi, who used the name Hergé, will have the look of a live-action film, "and yet Peter and I felt that shooting them in a traditional live-action format would simply not honor the distinctive look of the characters and world that Hergé created." Jackson said that the characters will "look photorealistic ... They look exactly like real people -- but real Hergé people."

CHOW YUN-FAT RETURNS TO WOO'S RED CLIFF

Chow Yun-fat is back in the cast of the John Woo epic Red Cliff, touted as the most expensive film ever produced in China. (Daily Variety has estimated its budget at $75 million.) Chow had pulled out of the project last month, claiming he had received the script too late for him to prepare the role. However, producer Terence Chang said afterwards that he had been unable to come to terms with Chow because the film's Hollywood insurer opposed 73 clauses that Chow had wanted included in his contract. Reporting on his return to the film, the Associated Press reported that it may have been the result "of negative press ... that he was behaving like a prima donna." It was also reported last month that actor Tony Leung had agreed to take Chow's role. There was no word about whether he would remain in the cast.

TONYS DODGE HOLLYWOOD

After years of seeing Broadway productions based on movies dominating the annual Tony Awards nominations, original content stood out today (Tuesday) as it was announced that the rock musical Spring Awakening had nabbed 11 nods and Grey Gardens 10. The only two films-to-musicals making the major categories were Mary Poppins and Legally Blonde, neither of which came close to garnering the overflow of nominations that, say, The Lion King, The Producers or Spamalot had amassed in previous years. The straight-play categories were led by Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia, which picked up 10 nominations. Winners will be announced on June 10.

PIRATED SPIDER-MAN 3 DISKS SHOWING UP IN ASIA

Although the MPAA had originally denied an Associated Press report last month that pirated copies of Spider-Man 3 were already being hawked in China days after the movie's overseas release (it said that in reality copies of Spider-Man 2 were being included in DVD boxes labeled Spider-Man 3), the film organization told the Associated Press Monday that it had seized 14 recordings of the movie in Malaysia. The announcement came as the film organization unspooled a trailer in Singapore urging movie patrons to shun illegal DVDs. It said that local versions of the trailer would be shown before screenings of movies in other Asian countries as well.

Brian B.