Spider-Man 3 gave new meaning to the term "worldwide web" this weekend, snaring $375 million in ticket sales in a record display of Hollywood's global reach.
Fans from 107 countries lined up for Peter Parker's third outing, which shattered the previous opening-weekend mark by 48 percent and launched the movie industry's extended summer season in blockbuster style.
Spider-Man 3 crushed the North American record with an estimated $148 million in the U.S. and Canada alone, topping last summer's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
And it piled up unprecedented opening numbers in Japan, South Korea, India, Russia, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, and elsewhere.
"In your deepest, darkest, most secret desires you could never expect it to do so well," said Amy Pascal, Sony's studio chairman. "We're floating."
The results come as encouraging news to an industry looking for a string of summer popcorn movies - including such sequels as "Shrek the Third" in two weeks, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" on Memorial Day weekend and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in July - to lift this year's domestic box-office results above $10 billion for the first time.
Even more important is the financial impact such films can register internationally at a time when foreign ticket sales account for 63 percent of the world market, up from 50 percent five years ago.
More than 4 out of every 5 moviegoers around the world this weekend went to see "Spider-Man 3," which had the widest release of any film in history.
The previous record worldwide gross for an opening weekend was set by Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith at $254 million in 2005. In the U.S. and Canada only, Pirates had set the standard with a $136 million three-day launch.
A 20-year-old Bellevue, Ohio native is Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month for June.
Brittany Binger, who now lives in California, has worked in modeling and appeared in a recent episode of the television show CSI: NY. She grew up on her parents' small dairy farm in the Buckeye State, according to the magazine.
"I used to wake up at five in the morning, follow my dad around, and name all the cows," she told Playboy.
Despite leaving for California, Binger said she's still a small-town girl.
"I'm down-to-earth, kind of goofy, and a homebody," she told the magazine. "I don't go out to clubs. I was rowdy in my teens and got it out of my system. Now I'm the one who gets beeped at by irate people for driving too slowly."
In case you're wondering, she told Playboy her favorite books are To Kill a Mockingbird and The Outsiders.
It's a boy for Kevin Costner and his wife, Christine.
Cayden Wyatt Costner was born at 10:30 p.m. Sunday at a Los Angeles area hospital, the 52-year-old actor-director's publicist, Paul Bloch, said yesterday. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces.
"Both mother and son are doing well," said Bloch, adding that the baby has dark hair. He is the couple's first child. There were no other details.
Costner and Christine Baumgartner wed in September, 2004. It was his second marriage and the first for Baumgartner, now 33.
Usher confirms his mother is no longer his manager but denies a rift, says both are 'happy'
Usher's mother has been his manager since he was a teen, but now the superstar says he wants her to be just "Mom."
The Grammy winner confirmed on Monday that Jonnetta Patton is no longer in charge of his career. "She and I are on great terms and support each other in our life's endeavors. We are both very happy but are now working in different areas of the business," he said in a statement. "This is great for me because it means I now get to have my mother strictly as my mother with no added pressure."
Usher said he believed that by ending his professional relationship with his mother, it would bring the two closer.
"At this time in my life, I am simply more interested in building the strength of my family. And in order to do that, I feel its best to separate my business life from my personal life," he said.
This is the second major change this year for Usher, 28. In March, he announced his engagement to his longtime girlfriend, stylist Tameka Foster.
Rumors have swirled that Foster would replace Patton as Usher's manager, but the singer said: "She has no aspirations of becoming my manager or any other artist's manager."
Pete Doherty was arrested this weekend on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs, a published report said yesterday.
London Metropolitan Police declined to directly confirm the report in the Sun newspaper but said a 28-year-old man was arrested Saturday night in London on suspicion of drug possession. He was released on bail pending investigation and was ordered to return to a police station next month.
Doherty, frontman for Babyshambles and formerly co-leader of The Libertines, has been undergoing drug rehabilitation under court supervision following a number of arrests for possession of drugs, including cocaine and heroin.
At a court appearance April 18, the rocker said people close to him were insisting that he kick his addiction.
"The people I'm closest to have had enough. They've said it's drugs or them," he said.
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