Standby for Spider-Man 4, 5, 6 and 7 say buoyant studio bosses

LOS ANGELES - Fans of "Spider-Man 3" can look forward to a stream of sequels after the blockbuster's record-breaking opening at the box-office, reports said Monday.

Buoyed by the film's money-spinning debut, Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal squashed speculation that the franchise had reached its conclusion with the latest instalment.

"There'll be a fourth and a fifth and sixth and a seventh," Pascal told entertainment journal Daily Variety. "As many stories as Peter Parker has to tell we'll do sequels."

The possibility of "Spider-Man 3" being the last in the series had been raised by the film's star Tobey Maguire who told interviewers earlier this year: "To me it seems like this is a natural point for the team to break up."

"It feels like a trilogy to me and it feels like the end," he added.

Industry figures released Sunday saw "Spider-Man 3" smash a series of records, with the web-spinning Marvel Comics hero getting the North American blockbuster season off to a flying start.

Figures said the film netted 148 million dollars on its opening weekend.

It dwarfed the previous record, set last year by Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," which earned 135.6 million in its first three days.

The single-day takings for "Spider-Man 3" on Friday came to 59 million, also beating the "Pirates" record of 55.8 million in July 2006.

The film also set a new worldwide box-office opening record of 375 million dollars, easily outstripping the global take of 2005's "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith."

The record opening means the film has already started to return a hefty profit after costing around 258 million dollars to make.

The highest-earning film in history is "Titanic", which has earned more than 1.8 billion dollars worldwide since its 1997 release.

05/07/2007 16:23 GMT

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