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.