Spidey takes a fall but still nets $60M

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Even when he takes a huge fall, Spider-Man comes out on top.

Sony's ''Spider-Man 3'' took in $60 million in its second weekend, a hefty 60 percent drop from its record debut a week earlier but good enough to easily outdistance the competition and remain the No. 1 movie, according to studio estimates Sunday.

''After a record-breaking opening weekend, to me this is an appropriate second-weekend drop,'' said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. ''Any studio would be happy to have a movie opening with $60 million, let alone a second weekend with $60 million.''

With $242.1 million domestically in just 10 days, ''Spider-Man 3'' continued to beat the box-office pace of its predecessors. After 10 days, 2002's ''Spider-Man'' had grossed $223 million, while 2004's ''Spider-Man 2'' had taken in $225 million.

''Spider-Man 3'' quickly became the year's top-grossing film, hurtling past ''300,'' the Warner Bros. battle epic that has taken in $208 million.

Second-weekend drops for successful studio films typically are well below 50 percent. But ''Spider-Man 3'' shattered records with $151.1 million in its first weekend, making a big decline virtually inevitable since so many people already had seen the film.

''When you're in that stratosphere, we had to assume we would be in the range of a 60 percent drop,'' said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony.

The weekend's other new movies had fair to poor openings.

Debuting in second place with $10 million was Fox Atomic's horror sequel ''28 Weeks Later,'' a follow up to ''28 Days Later'' that continues the story of a virus in Britain that turns people into raging, cannibalistic zombies.

Universal's ''Georgia Rule,'' starring Lindsay Lohan, Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman, opened at No. 3 with $5.9 million. Lohan plays a rebellious teen who's put under the charge of her no-nonsense grandma (Fonda).

Lionsgate's ''Delta Farce'' premiered at No. 5 with $3.5 million. Larry the Cable Guy stars in the comedy about three weekend warriors mistakenly dumped in Mexico, where they take on a gang of bandits.

The Weinstein Co. and MGM's workplace comedy ''The Ex'' tanked with $1.4 million, coming in at No. 12. The movie stars Zach Braff as a husband dueling with a co-worker who also is his wife's ex-boyfriend.

''Spider-Man 3'' made up for an otherwise soft crop of movies. The top-12 films took in $96.9 million, up 14 percent from the same weekend last year, when ''Mission: Impossible 3'' was No. 1 with $25 million and ''Poseidon'' debuted in second place with $22.2 million.

Overseas, ''Spider-Man 3'' pulled in an additional $85.5 million for the weekend, raising its international total to $380 million and worldwide total to $622 million. The previous ''Spider-Man'' movies each took in about $800 million worldwide, a number ''Spider-Man 3'' should easily beat.

''Spider-Man 3'' has a shot at topping $1 billion worldwide, Bruer said. Only three other movies, ''Titanic,'' ''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'' and ''Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,'' have hit that mark.

After two weekends of light competition, ''Spider-Man 3'' faces the summer's next heavy-hitter Friday with the debut of DreamWorks Animation's ''Shrek the Third,'' the latest adventure of the cartoon ogre.

A week later, Disney's ''Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End'' sails into theaters, the Johnny Depp action comedy joining ''Spider-Man 3'' and ''Shrek the Third'' to set up what could be Hollywood's biggest Memorial Day weekend ever.