Amazing Weekend for Spider-Man

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man 2 has met or exceeded the expectations of most fans, and it certainly hasn’t disappointed studio execs. After breaking records with its phenomenal $40 million Wednesday bow, the superhero sequel went in to rake in another $116.7million (est.) over the long weekend, jacking its six-day total to around $181 million.

Fahrenheit 9/11 dropped from the top spot to a distant second with $22.4 million for the weekend. Made for just $6 million, the doc has grossed more than $61 million and performed exceptionally strong in its second week with only a 6.4% trail-off. Sony’s Wayans Bros. comedy, White Chicks, came in third with an estimated $12 million, followed by Twentieth Century Fox’s DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story with around $10.4 million. New Line’s adaptation of the best-selling novel, The Notebook, rounds out the top five with an estimated $10.3 million.

Featuring digital animation effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks, the second Spidey installment is outpacing the original, which debuted in May 2002 to $114.8 million on its way to $403.7 domestically. Spider-Man 2 is also on track to eclipse DreamWorks’ Shrek 2, which is currently the year’s top grosser with $410.2 million.

Though Touchstone Pictures is bravely charging into battle with tomorrow’s release of King Arthur, other studios are steering clear of Sony’s web for at least another week. Twentieth Century Fox will release it’s big-budget adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot on July 16 and Warner Bros. will hold off the debut of its superhero tentpole, Catwoman, until July 30.