''Spider-Man'' should top $225 million -- amazing! While many will see Spidey for a second and third time, a sexy new adultery drama could also score big

By Dave Karger
Updated May 10, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Spider-Man: Zade Rosenthal

About a Boy

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Talk about a worldwide web. After shattering all possible box office records with its mammoth $114.8 million opening weekend, ”Spider-Man” will easily continue its domination of North American multiplexes despite two big-studio debuts and Spidey’s inevitable decline in week two.

So how will ”Spider-Man” play in its all-important second weekend? Usually, films with mega-sized debuts plummet in the 45 percent range. But thanks to incredible audience response and repeat viewings (I’m sure you’ve heard of people returning for a third time), perhaps the drop won’t be that large. Another good sign is the record numbers the film has posted this week ($11 million on Monday, $10 million on Tuesday). So a better-than-normal, 40 percent drop would mean a $70 million weekend, bringing the film’s 10-day total to a staggering $225 million.

Movie fans who’ve gotten their fill of superheroes have a high-quality option with the premiere of the adult drama ”Unfaithful,” in which Richard Gere plays a suburban husband whose wife (Diane Lane) is having an affair. The steamy flick has already received strong early reviews (including an A- from EW’s Owen Gleiberman), so ”Unfaithful” should top the $11 million opening of Gere’s last thriller, ”The Mothman Prophecies.” Look for a solid $15 million debut, landing ”Unfaithful” in second place.

Then there’s ”The New Guy,” a comedy that’s been on the Sony shelves for a year now. It stars ”Road Trip” dork D.J. Qualls as a geek (surprise!) who gets a cool makeover from a prisoner, played by ”John Q” costar Eddie Griffin. That long delay isn’t a good sign, and these goofball comedies seem beyond played out, but a built-in stupid-comedy audience should still result in an $8 million debut for third place.

Rounding out the top five will be ”The Scorpion King” with about $5 million and ”Changing Lanes” with $3 million. But don’t expect these two hits to remain on the radar next week, when Hugh Grant’s romantic comedy ”About A Boy” opens — along with that other little movie about space battles…what do they call it, again?

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About a Boy

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