Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sam Raimi|
|Produced by||Avi Arad
|Screenplay by||Sam Raimi
|Story by||Sam Raimi
by Stan Lee
Thomas Haden Church
Bryce Dallas Howard
J. K. Simmons
|Music by||Christopher Young|
|Editing by||Bob Murawski|
Laura Ziskin Productions
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Entertainment|
|Running time||139 minutes|
Spider-Man 3 is a 2007 American superhero film produced by Marvel Entertainment and Laura Ziskin Productions, and distributed by Columbia Pictures based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. It was directed by Sam Raimi and scripted by Sam and Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent. It is the final film in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. The film stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, J. K. Simmons, James Cromwell and Cliff Robertson in his final film appearance.
Set months after the events of Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker has become a cultural phenomenon as Spider-Man, while Mary Jane Watson continues her Broadway career. Harry Osborn still seeks vengeance for his father's death, and an escaped Flint Marko falls into a particle accelerator and is transformed into a shape-shifting sand manipulator. An extraterrestrial symbiote crashes to Earth and bonds with Peter, influencing his behavior for the worse. When Peter abandons the symbiote, it finds refuge in Eddie Brock, a rival photographer, causing Peter to face his greatest challenge.
Development of Spider-Man 3 began immediately after the release of Spider-Man 2 for a 2007 release. During pre-production, Raimi originally wanted another villain to be included along with Sandman, but at the request of producer Avi Arad, the director added Venom and the producers also requested the addition of Gwen Stacy. Principal photography for the film began in January 2006, and took place in Los Angeles and Cleveland, before moving to New York City from May until July 2006. Additional pick-up shots were made after August and the film wrapped in October 2006. During post-production, Sony Pictures Imageworks created 900 visual effects shots.
Spider-Man 3 premiered on April 16, 2007 in Tokyo, and released in the United States in both conventional and IMAX theaters on May 4, 2007. Although the film received mixed to positive reviews from critics, in contrast to the highly positive reviews of its predecessors, it stands as the most financially successful film in the series worldwide, Marvel's third most financially successful film after The Avengers and Iron Man 3, and Sony Pictures Entertainment's second highest-grossing film behind Skyfall. After the success of Spider-Man 3, Raimi was scheduled to direct the unproduced Spider-Man 4. However, disagreements between Sony and Raimi forced the director to leave the project, and Sony cancelled the film as a result. A reboot of the trilogy was released five years later.
Peter Parker plans to propose to Mary Jane Watson, who has just made her Broadway musical debut. A meteorite crashes near the two in Central Park, and an extraterrestrial symbiote attaches itself to Peter's moped. While fleeing police, escaped prisoner Flint Marko falls into a particle accelerator that fuses his body with surrounding sand, allowing him to shapeshift at will as the Sandman. Peter's best friend, Harry Osborn, who knows Peter is Spider-Man and blames him for his father's death, attacks Peter using weapons based on his father's Green Goblin technology. Harry injures his head and suffers partial amnesia, forgetting that Peter is Spider-Man and his desire for revenge. During a festival honoring Spider-Man, Marko robs an armored car. NYPD Captain George Stacy tells Peter and Aunt May that Marko was Uncle Ben's killer, and Dennis Carradine was only an accomplice. While a vengeful Peter sleeps, the symbiote bonds with him. Peter wakes up hanging from a skyscraper. His costume has changed and his powers have been enhanced, but the symbiote brings out Peter's dark side. Wearing the new black suit, Spider-Man locates Marko and fights him in a subway tunnel, reducing him to mud using water.
Peter's changed personality alienates Mary Jane, whose career is floundering, and she finds solace with Harry. Urged on by a hallucination of his father, Harry regains his memory and compels Mary Jane to break up with Peter, threatening Peter's life. After Mary Jane tells Peter she is in love with another man (under Harry's direction), Harry meets with Peter and claims to be "the other guy". Later, Peter, wearing the black suit, confronts Harry and fights him. Harry throws a pumpkin bomb at Peter, who deflects it back, disfiguring Harry's face.
Under the symbiote's influence, Peter exposes Eddie Brock, a rival photographer at the Daily Bugle, by submitting doctored photographs showing Spider-Man as a criminal. Furious at having to print a retraction, J. Jonah Jameson fires Eddie. Meanwhile, the Sandman recovers from his injuries.
To make Mary Jane jealous, Peter brings Gwen Stacy, a woman Brock believes is his girlfriend, to the nightclub where Mary Jane works; Brock secretly sees them and assumes they are dating. Gwen catches on and storms out. Peter brawls with the bouncers and, after accidentally hitting Mary Jane, realizes the symbiote is changing him. He retreats to a church bell tower. While trying to remove the symbiote costume he hits the church's bell, weakening the alien and making it easier to remove. Peter tears the symbiote off and it falls to the lower tower, landing on Brock, who is praying for Peter's death. The symbiote transforms Brock into Venom. Venom finds the Sandman and offers to join forces.
Mary Jane hails a taxicab but Brock hijacks it and hangs it from a web hundreds of feet above a sand-filled construction site. Peter seeks Harry's help but is turned down. A crowd of people watch as Peter clashes with Brock. Harry learns the truth about his father's death from his butler and goes to help Peter. Harry temporarily subdues a gigantic incarnation of the Sandman, breaking him apart. Brock webs Harry's glider, causing it to bump into some pipes, making sonic vibrations that weaken the symbiote. Peter recalls the church bells weakening it previously. Brock tries impaling Peter with Harry's glider, but Harry jumps in the way. Peter forms a ring of pipes around Venom, creating a wall of sonic vibrations. The alien releases Brock, and Peter pulls Brock away from the creature. Peter throws a pumpkin bomb from Harry's glider at the symbiote, but Brock moves to re-bond with it and both are destroyed by the blast.
Marko reveals that he never intended to kill Ben, but only wanted his car and accidentally shot him when Dennis grabbed his arm, and says that Ben's death has haunted him since. Peter forgives Marko, who dissolves into sand and floats away. Peter and Harry forgive each other before Harry dies with Mary Jane and Peter at his side. Days later, Peter visits the jazz bar where Mary Jane is singing, and they begin mending their relationship.
- Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker / Spider-Man: A superhero, a brilliant physics student at Columbia University, and photographer for the Daily Bugle.
- Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson: Peter Parker's girlfriend, whom he has loved since childhood.
- James Franco as Harry Osborn / New Goblin: The dedicated son of Norman Osborn and Peter Parker's best friend, who believes Spider-Man murdered his father. After learning Peter is Spider-Man and his father was the Green Goblin, Harry becomes the New Goblin to battle Peter directly.
- Thomas Haden Church as Flint Marko / Sandman: A small-time thug with an estranged wife and sick daughter. He robs to get enough money to get his daughter treatment. He becomes the Sandman following a freak accident, and is hunted by Peter when he learns Marko was Uncle Ben's true killer.
- Topher Grace as Edward "Eddie" Brock, Jr. / Venom: Peter's rival at the Daily Bugle. He is exposed by Peter for creating a fake image of Spider-Man, and is ready for revenge when he bonds with the symbiote.
- Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy: Peter's lab partner and good friend, who is also saved by Spiderman.
- Rosemary Harris as May Parker: Peter Parker's aunt and widow of Ben Parker. She gives Peter her engagement ring so he can propose to Mary Jane, and teaches him forgiveness.
- J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson: The aggressive chief of the Daily Bugle. He dislikes Spider-Man, whom he considers a criminal.
- Dylan Baker as Dr. Curt Connors: Peter Parker's college physics professor. He examines a piece of the symbiote and tells Peter it "amplifies characteristics of its host… especially aggression."
- Bill Nunn as Joseph "Robbie" Robertson: A longtime employee at the Daily Bugle.
- Elizabeth Banks as Betty Brant: Receptionist at the Daily Bugle for J. Jonah Jameson.
- Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn / Green Goblin: Harry Osborn's dead father returns as a hallucination to encourage his son to destroy Spider-Man.
- Cliff Robertson as Ben Parker: Peter Parker's deceased uncle.
- Michael Papajohn as Dennis Carradine: The carjacker who was believed to have murdered Uncle Ben.
- Mageina Tovah as Ursula Ditkovich: An unassuming girl next door who is the daughter of Peter's landlord.
- James Cromwell as Captain Stacy: Gwen's father and a New York City Police Department Captain.
Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee has a cameo in Spider-Man 3, as he does in many Marvel-based films. He plays a man who, after reading a news bulletin along with Peter, tells him, "You know, I guess one person can make a difference," followed by his catch phrase "Nuff said." Actor Bruce Campbell, who had cameo roles as a wrestling ring announcer in Spider-Man and as a rude usher in Spider-Man 2, returns in Spider-Man 3 with a new cameo as a French maître d'. His character helps Peter try to propose to Mary Jane. Composer Christopher Young appears in the film as a pianist at Mary Jane's theater when she is fired, while producer Grant Curtis has a cameo as the driver of an armored car that the Sandman attacks. Comedian Dean Edwards played one of the newspaper readers who badmouth Spider-Man. The 75-year-old newscaster Hal Fishman appears as himself in a news report.
In March 2004, with Spider-Man 2 being released the coming June, Marvel Studios had begun developing Spider-Man 3 for a release in 2007. By the release of Spider-Man 2, a release date for Spider-Man 3 had been set for May 2, 2007 before production on the sequel had begun. The date was later changed to May 4, 2007. In January 2005, Sony Pictures Entertainment completed a seven-figure deal with screenwriter Alvin Sargent, who had penned Spider-Man 2, to work on Spider-Man 3 with an option to write a fourth film.
Immediately after Spider-Man 2's release, Ivan Raimi wrote a treatment over two months, with Sam Raimi deciding to use the film to explore Peter learning that he is not a sinless vigilante, and that there also can be humanity in those he considers criminals. Harry Osborn was brought back as Raimi wanted to conclude his storyline. Raimi felt that Harry would not follow his father's legacy, but be instead "somewhere between." Sandman was introduced as an antagonist, as Raimi found him a visually fascinating character. While Sandman is a petty criminal in the comics, the screenwriters created a background of the character being Uncle Ben's killer to increase Peter's guilt over his death and challenge his simplistic perception of the event. Overall, Raimi described the film as being about Peter, Mary Jane, Harry, and the Sandman, with Peter's journey being one of forgiveness.
Raimi wanted another villain, and Ben Kingsley was involved in negotiations to play the Vulture before the character was cut. Producer Avi Arad convinced Raimi to include Venom, a character whose perceived "lack of humanity" had initially been criticized by Sam Raimi. Venom's alter-ego, Eddie Brock, already had a minor role in the script. Arad told the director that Venom had a strong fan base, so Raimi included the character to please them, and even began to appreciate the character himself. The film's version of the character is an amalgamation of Venom stories. Eddie Brock, Jr., the human part of Venom, serves as a mirror to Peter Parker, with both characters having similar jobs and romantic interests. Brock's actions as a journalist in Spider-Man 3 also represent contemporary themes of paparazzi and tabloid journalism. The producers also suggested adding rival love interest Gwen Stacy, filling in an "other girl" type that Raimi already created. With so many additions, Sargent soon found his script so complex that he considered splitting it into two films, but abandoned the idea when he could not create a successful intermediate climax.
Camera crews spent ten days from November 5, 2005 to November 18, 2005, to film sequences that would involve intense visual effects so Sony Pictures Imageworks could begin work on the shots early in the project. The same steps had been taken for Spider-Man 2 to begin producing visual effects early for sequences involving the villain Doctor Octopus.
Principal photography for Spider-Man 3 began on January 16, 2006 and wrapped in July 2006 after over a hundred days of filming. The team filmed in Los Angeles until May 19, 2006. In spring 2006, film location manager Peter Martorano brought camera crews to Cleveland, due to the Greater Cleveland Film Commission offering production space at the city's convention center at no cost. In Cleveland, they shot the battle between Spider-Man and Sandman in the armored car. Afterwards, the team moved to Manhattan, where filming took place at various locations, including One Chase Manhattan Plaza, from May 26, 2006 until July 1, 2006. Shooting placed a strain on Raimi, who often had to move between several units to complete the picture. Shooting was also difficult for cinematographer Bill Pope, as the symbiote Spider-Man, Venom, and the New Goblin were costumed in black during fight scenes taking place at night.
After August, pick-ups were conducted as Raimi sought to film more action scenes. The film then wrapped in October, although in the following month, additional special effects shots were taken to finalize the production. At the start of 2007, there were further pick-up shots regarding the resolution of Sandman's story, amounting to four different versions.
John Dykstra, who won the Academy Award for Visual Effects for his work on Spider-Man 2, declined to work on the third film as visual effects supervisor. Dykstra's colleague, Scott Stokdyk, took his place as supervisor, leading two hundred programmers at Sony Pictures Imageworks. This group designed specific computer programs that did not exist when Spider-Man 3 began production, creating nine hundred visual effects shots.
In addition to the innovative visual effects for the film, Stokdyk created a miniature of a skyscraper section at 1:16 scale with New Deal Studios' Ian Hunter and David Sanger. Stokdyk chose to design the miniature instead of using computer-generated imagery so damage done to the building could be portrayed realistically and timely without guesswork involving computer models. In addition, to Sony Imageworks, Cafe FX provided visual effects for the crane disaster scene when Spider-Man rescues Gwen Stacy, as well as shots in the climactic battle. To understand the effects of sand for the Sandman, experiments were done with twelve types of sand, such as splashing, launching it at stuntmen, and pouring it over ledges. The results were mimicked on the computer to create the visual effects for Sandman. For scenes involving visual effects, Thomas Haden Church was super-imposed onto the screen, where computer-generated imagery was then applied. With sand as a possible hazard in scenes that buried actors, ground-up corncobs were used as a substitute instead. Because of its resemblance to the substance, sand from Arizona was used as the model for the CG sand. In a fight where Spider-Man punches through Sandman's chest, amputee martial arts expert Baxter Humby took Tobey Maguire's place in filming the scene. Humby, whose right hand was amputated at birth, helped deliver the intended effect of punching through Sandman's chest.
Whereas the symbiote suit worn in the comics by Spider-Man was a plain black affair with a large white spider on the front and back, the design was changed for the film to become a black version of Spider-Man's traditional costume, complete with webbing motif. As a consequence of this, the suit Topher Grace wore as Venom also bore the webbing motif; as producer Grant Curtis noted, "it’s the Spider-Man suit, but twisted and mangled in its own right." Additionally, the motif gave a sense of life to the symbiote, giving it the appearance of gripping onto the character's body. When animating the symbiote, Raimi did not want it to resemble a spider or an octopus, and to give it a sense of character. The CG model is made of many separate strands. When animating Venom himself, animators observed footage of big cats such as lions and cheetahs for the character's agile movements.
Originally, Danny Elfman, the composer for the previous installments, did not plan to return for the third installment of Spider-Man because of difficulties with director Sam Raimi. Elfman said that he had a "miserable experience" working with Raimi on Spider-Man 2 and could not comfortably adapt his music. Christopher Young was then announced to score Spider-Man 3 in Elfman's absence. In December 2006, however, producer Grant Curtis announced that Elfman had begun collaborating with Christopher Young on the music for Spider-Man 3.
Sandman's theme uses "two contrabass saxophones, two contrabass clarinets, two contrabass bassoons and eight very low French horns" to sound "low, aggressive and heavy". Young described Venom's theme as "Vicious, my instructions on that one were that he’s the devil personified. His theme is much more demonic sounding." Venom's theme uses eight French horns. Raimi approved the new themes during their first performance, but rejected the initial music to the birth of Sandman, finding it too monstrous and not tragic enough. Young had to recompose much of his score at a later stage, as the producers felt there were not enough themes from the previous films. Ultimately, new themes for the love story, Aunt May, and Mary Jane were dropped.
Spider-Man 3 had its world premiere in Tokyo on April 16, 2007, The film held its UK premiere on April 23, 2007 at the Odeon Leicester Square, and the U.S. premiere took place at the Tribeca Film Festival in Queens on April 30, 2007.
Spider-Man 3 was commercially released in sixteen territories on May 1, 2007. The film was released in Japan on May 1, 2007, three days prior to the American commercial release, to coincide with Japan's Golden Week. Spider-Man 3 was also released in China on May 3, 2007 to circumvent market growth of pirated copies of the film. The studio's release of a film in China before its domestic release was a first for Sony Pictures Releasing International. By May 6, 2007, Spider-Man 3 opened in 107 countries around the world.
The film was commercially released in the United States on May 4, 2007 in a North American record total of 4,253 theaters, including fifty-three IMAX theaters. The record number of theaters was later beaten by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which was released in 4,362 theaters in the United States—109 more than Spider-Man 3. Tracking data a month before the U.S. release reflected over 90% awareness and over 20% first choice among moviegoers, statistics that estimated an opening weekend of over $100 million for Spider-Man 3. Online tickets for Spider-Man 3 were reported on April 23, 2007 to have been purchased at a faster rate—three times at Movietickets.com and four times at Fandango—than online ticket sales for Spider-Man 2. On May 2, 2007, Fandango reported the sales rate as six times greater than the rate for Spider-Man 2. The strong ticket sales caused theaters to add 3:00 AM showings following the May 4, 2007 midnight showing to accommodate the demand.
The FX channel signed a five-year deal for the television rights to Spider-Man 3, which they began airing in 2009. The price was based on the film's box office performance, with an option for three opportunities for Sony to sell the rights to one or more other broadcast networks.
In New York City, the hometown of Spider-Man's fictional universe, tourist attractions arranged events and exhibits on April 30, 2007 to lead up to the release of Spider-Man 3. The unique campaign include a spider exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, workshops on baby spider plants at the New York Botanical Garden, Green Goblin mask-making workshop at the Children's Museum of Manhattan, and a scavenger hunt and a bug show at Central Park Zoo.
Hasbro, which holds the license for Marvel characters, released several toys to tie-in with the film. They include a deluxe spinning web blaster, along with several lines of action figures aimed at both children and collectors. Toys of the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus from the first two films have been re-released to match the smaller scale of the new figures, as have been toys of the Lizard, the Scorpion, Kraven the Hunter, and Rhino in a style reminiscent of the films. Techno Source created interactive toys, including a "hand-held Battle Tronics device that straps to the inside of a player's wrist and mimics Spidey's web-slinging motions". Japanese Medicom Toy Corporation produced collectibles, which Sideshow Collectibles distributed in the U.S.
The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics, in contrast to the previous two films' highly positive reviews. On the movie review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, Spider-Man 3 has a 63% approval rating based on 244 reviews. On Metacritic, Spider-Man 3 has received a score of 59/100 based on 40 reviews. On Yahoo! Movies, Spider-Man 3 is graded a B- among 14 film critics.
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times deplored the film's pacing as "mostly just plods" and a lack of humor. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film only 2 out of 4 stars, feeling, "for every slam-bang action sequence, there are far too many sluggish scenes." David Edelstein of New York magazine misses the "centrifugal threat" of Alfred Molina's character, adding that "the three villains here don’t add up to one Doc Ock" (referring to Alfred Molina's portrayal of the character in Spider-Man 2). James Berardinelli felt director Sam Raimi "overreached his grasp" by allowing so many villains, specifically saying, "Venom is one bad guy too many." Roger Ebert gave the film 2 out of four stars and thought Church never expressed how Sandman felt about his new powers, something Molina, as Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2, did "with a vengeance"; he said the film was "a mess," with too many villains, subplots, romantic misunderstandings, conversations and "street crowds looking high into the air and shouting 'oooh!' this way, then swiveling and shouting 'aaah!' that way." The New Yorker's Anthony Lane gave the film a mildly positive review, summarizing it as "shambles" which "makes the rules up as it goes along."
However, Roger Friedman of Fox News called the film a "4 star opera", noting that while long, there was plenty of humor and action. Andy Khouri of Comic Book Resources praised the film as "easily the most complex and deftly orchestrated superhero epic ever filmed [...] despite the enormous amount of characters, action and sci-fi superhero plot going on in this film, Spider-Man 3 never feels weighted down, tedious or boring." Jonathan Ross, a big fan of the comic books, felt the film was the best of the trilogy. Richard Corliss of Time commended the filmmakers for their ability to "dramatize feelings of angst and personal betrayal worthy of an Ingmar Bergman film, and then to dress them up in gaudy comic-book colors". Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe, who gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, wrote that it was a well-made, fresh film, but would leave the viewer "overfulfilled". Jonathan Dean of Total Film felt the film's complex plot helped the film's pacing, in that, "it rarely feels disjointed or loose [...] Spider-Man cements its shelf-life." Entertainment Weekly named the Sandman as the eighth best computer-generated film character.
John Hartl of MSNBC gave Spider-Man 3 a positive review, but stated that it has some flaws such as having "too many storylines". His opinion is echoed by Houston Chronicle's Amy Biancolli who complained that "the script is busy with so many supporting characters and plot detours that the series' charming idiosyncrasy is sometimes lost in the noise." Jack Matthews of Daily News thought the film was too devoted to the "quiet conversations" of Peter and Mary Jane, but that fans would not be disappointed by the action. Finally, Sean Burns of Philadelphia Weekly felt that the director "substituted scope and scale for the warmth and wit that made those two previous pictures so memorable."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients and nominees||Outcome|
|Annie Awards||February 8, 2008||Best Animated Effects||Ryan Laney||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||February 10, 2008||Best Special Visual Effects||Scott Stokdyk, Peter Nofz, Kee-Suk Ken Hahn and Spencer Cook||Nominated|
|Kids' Choice Awards||March 29, 2008||Favorite Movie Actress||Kirsten Dunst||Nominated|
|Golden Trailer Awards||May 31, 2007||Best Summer Blockbuster||Spider-Man 3||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Award||June 1, 2008||Best Fight||James Franco and Tobey Maguire||Nominated|
|Best Villain||Topher Grace||Nominated|
|National Movie Awards||September 27, 2007||Best Family Film||Spider-Man 3||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Female||Kirsten Dunst||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Male||Tobey Maguire||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||January 8, 2008||Favorite On Screen Match-up||Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||June 24, 2008||Best Director||Sam Raimi||Nominated|
|Best Fantasy Film||Spider-Man 3||Nominated|
|Best Special Effects||Scott Stokdyk, Peter Nofz, Spencer Cook and John Frazier||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||James Franco||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||August 26, 2007||Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure||Tobey Maguire||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure||Kirsten Dunst||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Action Adventure||Spider-Man 3||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Dance||Tobey Maguire||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Liplock||Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Rumble||James Franco, Tobey Maguire, Topher Grace and Thomas Haden Church||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Villain||Topher Grace||Nominated|
|Visual Effects Society Award||February 10, 2008||Best Single Visual Effect of the Year||Scott Stokdyk, Terry Clotiaux, Spencer Cook and Douglas Bloom||Nominated|
|Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture||Chris Y. Yang, Bernd Angerer, Dominick Cecere and Remington Scott||Nominated|
|Outstanding Models or Miniatures in a Motion Picture||Ian Hunter, Scott Beverly, Forest P. Fischer and Ray Moore||Nominated|
|Outstanding Visual Effects in an Effects Driven Motion Picture||Scott Stokdyk, Terry Clotiaux, Peter Nofz and Spencer Cook||Nominated|
Spider-Man 3 earned $336,530,303 in North America and $554,341,323 in other countries for a worldwide total of $890,871,626. Worldwide, it is the 29th highest-grossing film, the third highest-grossing 2007 film, the highest-grossing film of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and was the highest-grossing film distributed by Sony/Columbia until 2012's Skyfall. The film set a worldwide single-day record ($104 million) on its first Friday and broke its own record again on Saturday ($117.6 million). It also set a worldwide opening-weekend record, with $381.7 million, which now ranks as the fifth largest (first surpassed by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). The film's IMAX screenings reached $20 million in 30 days, faster than any other 2D film remastered in the format.
In North America, Spider-Man 3 is the twenty-seventh highest grossing film, the third highest-grossing film of the Spider-Man series, the third highest-grossing film distributed by Sony/Columbia and the highest-grossing 2007 film. It was released in 4,252 theaters (about 10,300 screens) on Friday, May 4, 2007. It set an opening- and single-day record with $59,841,919 (both were first surpassed by The Dark Knight). This included $10 million from midnight showings. Spider-Man 3 then set an opening-weekend record with $151,116,516 (first surpassed by The Dark Knight), a record for the weekend per-theater average with $35,540 per theater (first surpassed by Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert), and an IMAX opening-weekend record with $4.8 million (first surpassed by The Dark Knight). The film set record Friday and Sunday grosses and achieved the largest cumulative gross through its second, third and fourth day of release (all were first surpassed by The Dark Knight). It also set a record Saturday gross (surpassed by Marvel's The Avengers).
Outside North America, it is the twenty-third highest-grossing film, the highest-grossing film of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and the second highest-grossing film distributed by Sony/Columbia. On its opening day (Tuesday, May 1, 2007), Spider-Man 3 grossed $29.2 million from 16 territories, an 86% increase from the intake of Spider-Man 2 on its first day of release. In 10 of the 16 territories, Spider-Man 3 set new opening-day records. These territories are Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines, France and Italy. In Germany, the film surpassed the opening day gross of Spider-Man 2. During its six-day opening weekend (through its first Sunday), the film earned $230.5 million from 107 markets, finishing #1 in all of them. Spider-Man 3 set opening-weekend records in 29 markets including Italy, China, South Korea (the latter was first surpassed by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End), India, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru. However, many of these records were achieved thanks to its six-day opening, while previous record-holders in some countries opened over the traditional three-day weekend (traditional two-day, four-day or five-day weekend in other countries). Spider-Man 3 was in first place at the box office outside North America for three consecutive weekends.
Spider-Man 3 was released on Region 4 DVD (anamorphic widescreen) in Australia on September 18, 2007. For Region 2 in the United Kingdom, the film was released on October 15, 2007. Spider-Man 3 was released on DVD in Region 1 territories on October 30, 2007. The film is available in one-disc and two-disc editions, on both standard and Blu-ray formats, as well as packages with the previous films and a PSP release. Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Grant Curtis are among those who contributed to the audio commentaries.
Sony announced plans to create "one of the largest" marketing campaigns in Hollywood for the October 30, 2007 release of the DVD. Beginning with a partnership with Papa Johns, Sony printed close to 8.5 billion impressions for pizza boxes, television, radio, and online ads. Sony also worked with Pringles Potato Crisp, Blu-Tack, Jolly Time Pop Corn, and Nutella. Sony's Vice President of marketing, Jennifer Anderson, stated the studio spend approximately 15% to 25% of its marketing budget on digital ad campaigns; from this, Papa Johns sent text messages to mobile phones with ads. Anderson stated that there would be three sweepstakes held for consumers, where they would be able to win prizes from Sony and its promotional partners.
In the United States, the film grossed more than $124 million on DVD sales. It also grossed more than $43.76 million on DVD/Home Video Rentals in 11 weeks. However, the DVD sales results of this film did not meet industry expectations.
In 2007, Spider-Man 4 entered development, with Raimi attached to direct and Maguire, Dunst and other cast members set to reprise their roles. Both a fourth and a fifth movie were planned and at one time the idea of shooting the two sequels concurrently was under consideration. However, Raimi stated in March 2009 that only the fourth film was in development at that time and that if there were fifth and sixth films, those two films would actually be a continuation of each other. James Vanderbilt was hired in October 2007 to pen the screenplay after initial reports in early 2007 that Sony Pictures was in contact with David Koepp, who wrote the first Spider-Man film. The script was subsequently rewritten by Pulitzer-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and rewritten again by Gary Ross in October 2009. Sony also engaged Vanderbilt to write scripts for Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6.
In 2007, Raimi expressed interest in portraying the transformation of Dr. Curt Connors into his villainous alter-ego, the Lizard; the character's actor Dylan Baker and producer Grant Curtis were also enthusiastic about the idea. It was reported in December 2009 that John Malkovich was in negotiations to play Vulture and that Anne Hathaway would play Felicia Hardy, though she would not have transformed into the Black Cat as in the comics. Instead, Raimi's Felicia was expected to become a brand-new superpowered figure called the Vulturess. However, several years later Raimi said that Anne Hathaway was going to be Black Cat if Spider-Man 4 had been made.
Sony Pictures announced in January 2010 that plans for Spider-Man 4 had been cancelled due to Raimi's withdrawal from the project. Raimi reportedly ended his participation due to his doubt that he could meet the planned May 6, 2011 release date while at the same time upholding the film creatively. Raimi purportedly went through four iterations of the script with different screenwriters and still "hated it".
- Garrett, Diane (2007-04-16). "Red carpet becoming more global". Variety. Retrieved 2007-04-17.
- "Spider-Man 3 (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
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