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Net Profits

''Spider-Man 2'' claims record opening-day gross -- The superhero sequel boasts $40.5 million in sales on Wednesday

Tobey Maguire, Spider-Man 2 | MAGUIRE'S ON FIRE Tobey's ''Spider-Man 2'' is on course to break the opening-weekend record set by the first movie
Image credit: Spider-Man 2: Melissa Moseley
MAGUIRE'S ON FIRE Tobey's ''Spider-Man 2'' is on course to break the opening-weekend record set by the first movie
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It's a lot easier to grab cash if you have sticky hands, or four extra arms. Maybe that's why -- along with nearly unanimous raves from critics and two years worth of anticipation -- ''Spider-Man 2'' broke records with its opening-day ticket sales in North American theaters on Wednesday.

According to studio estimates, the battle between Spidey and multi-tentacled Dr. Octopus earned a record $40.5 million when it debuted on Wednesday. Not only does that figure beat the previous record for a Wednesday, the $34.5 million grossed last December on the opening day of ''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,'' but it also beats the overall one-day record of $39.4 million, set two years ago by the Friday opening of the original ''Spider-Man.'' It also means the movie is poised to beat the 2002 ''Spider-Man'''s opening-weekend benchmark of $114.8 million, still the highest gross of any movie over a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Forget Doc Ock -- about the only guy who can slow Spidey down now is ''Fahrenheit 9/11'''s Michael Moore.

Originally posted Jul 01, 2004