ALONG CAME A SPIDER -- MAN!

Spider-Man 3 became an overnight box-office marvel over the weekend as it snared an estimated $373 million in its web internationally, $148 million of that in North America. It was the biggest three-day haul in history. The film accounted for more than 80 percent of all ticket sales, and could go into its second weekend with more than $200 million (domestic) on its accounts. Then again, there was little competition. The No. 2 film at the box office was Disturbia, which had held the top position for the previous three weeks. It took in $5.7 million. The only other new film released this weekend, the romantic comedy Lucky You, starring Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana, came no where near living up to its name. The film earned only $2.5 million, making it one of the biggest flops of the year. It had also flopped with critics. Claudia Puig in USA Today said that it was "lifeless as a poker face." Liam Lacey in the Toronto Globe & Mail remarked that it was "flatter than week-old beer." And Kyle Smith in the New York Post began his review with the words, "This spring, boredom has a new name: Lucky You."

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:

1. Spider-Man 3, $148 million; 2. Disturbia, $5.7 million; 3. Fracture, $3.4 million; 4. The Invisible, $3.1 million; 5. Next, $2.8 million; 6. Lucky You, $2.5 million; 7. Meet the Robinsons, $2.46 million; 8. Blades of Glory, $2.3 million; 9. Hot Fuzz, $2.1 million; 10. Are We Done Yet?, $1.7 million.

SONY EXECS PROMISE AT LEAST THREE MORE SPIDEY SEQUELS

The success of Spider-Man 3 brought promises of additional episodes of Spidey and his enemies. "There'll be a fourth and a fifth and sixth and a seventh," Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal told Daily Variety. "As many stories as Peter Parker has to tell, we'll do sequels." Her colleague, Michael Lynton, told the BBC that there would be "as many as we can make good stories for. ... Everybody's been so busy trying to get this one out that that's been the focus. ... When everybody comes up for air, we can think about how to make the next one." Lynton added that, although the critics by and large drubbed the film, "the exit polls show that the audience really loved the movie, and that's what counts." Sony distribution chief Jeff Blake told the New York Times that the box-office count "justifies the expense of a franchise picture like this. And I think it's a great sign for the summer." Several analysts predicted that the film will exceed the revenue produced by the previous two Spider-Man installments, which grossed $821 million and $783 million respectively worldwide -- although they expressed doubt that it could overtake the all-time box office champ Titanic, which took in $1.85 billion.

MEXICAN DIRECTORS UNITE, ASK FOR $100-MILLION DEAL

Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu, the three Mexican directors who became a sensastion in 2006 with such films as Pan's Labyrinth, Children of Men and Babel, respectively, are offering themselves, along with two lesser-known directors, to Hollywood in a five-picture package worth as much as $100 million, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Monday). The two other directors in the deal are Cuarón's younger brother Carlos, the co-writer of Y Tu Mamá También, and Rodrigo García, director of Sony Pictures' upcoming Passengers. The Times said that Universal is the most likely buyer.

STAR WARS EXHIBIT OPENS IN LONDON

What is being billed as the biggest Star Wars exhibition ever in the U.K. has opened in London, including costumes of the principal characters, set pieces, and even a "training school" for prospective Jedi knights. The show is opening just weeks away from the 30th anniversary of the premiere of the original Star Wars in the U.S. on May 25, 1977. The exhibition's opening also occurred on the same day that a survey was released by Britain's Sky Movies channel doubtfully claiming that Star Wars was the most-watched movie of all time and that half of respondents had watched it more than 20 times. (The website ShowbizData.com estimates that the number of theater admissions for Gone With the Wind is at least four times greater than those for Star Wars.)

Brian B.