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''Spider-Man'' will swing into the record books

”Spider-Man” will swing into the record books. Expect the big-screen debut of the classic comic superhero to earn more than all this weekend’s other movies combined

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Tobey Maguire, Spider-Man, ...
Spider-Man: Zade Rosenthal

Arachnophobes, beware: We’re about to be invaded by a spider — ”Spider-Man,” that is.

The much-anticipated big-screen version of the classic comic finally hits theaters this weekend and promises to swing its way into the top five openings of all time. This very weekend last year, ”The Mummy Returns” exploded with $68.1 million.

”Spider-Man” has even more excitement surrounding it than ”Mummy” did, and should be able to top that figure easily. To break into the all-time top five, the number to beat is the $68.5 million ”Planet of the Apes” scored last summer. Consider it done. ”Spider-Man” should have no trouble spinning a $76 million web over its first three days. (This would place it No. 3 all-time, behind ”The Lost World” at $92.7 million and ”Harry Potter” at $90.3 million.)

Obviously, no other film will even come close this weekend; in fact, ”Spider-Man” will outgross all other films combined. The Rock’s hit prequel ”The Scorpion King” should see its audience cut in half yet again in its third weekend, to about $9 million for second place. And Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson’s nicely performing thriller ”Changing Lanes” will slip another 33 percent or so to $6 million.

The week’s two other ho-hum new entries will fill out the top five. The New York gang drama ”Deuces Wild,” starring Stephen Dorff, Matt Dillon, and Frankie Muniz, which sat on MGM’s shelves for about a year, will probably only manage a $5 million debut, drowned out by the Spidey hype.

And Woody Allen’s latest, ”Hollywood Ending,” will certainly outperform his last comedy, ”The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” (what’s with all the scorpions?), which debuted last August with $2.5 million. Still, expect ”Ending” to begin with just about $4 million. Looks like Allen’s most popular performance of the year will have been his surprise Oscar speech.

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