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Expect flicks to break records this summer

Nobody goes to the movies anymore. No, wait, everybody goes to the movies. What a difference a week makes.

Nobody goes to the movies anymore.

No, wait, everybody goes to the movies.

What a difference a week makes.

One week, Nicolas Cage's movie is driving people away from the multiplexes. The next week, "Spider-Man 3" is bringing them back.

Hollywood is a funny place. Well, it's funny as long as you didn't invest in the Nicolas Cage movie.

The opening of "Spider-Man 3" not only kicked off the summer movie season, but it also ignited a collective round of celebration among people who have nothing to do with the movie business.

I've never seen so many people excited over someone else's good fortune. But I shouldn't be surprised. We all love winners, and there is no bigger winner in Hollywood right now than "Spider-Man 3."

The money it made on its opening weekend is mind-boggling. It makes "Batman" money look like chump change.

And how many records did it break? I lost track after the first couple of days.

Just for starters, there was the biggest worldwide three-day opening ($382 million), the biggest domestic three-day opening ($151 million), the biggest single-day domestic box office ($59 million) and the biggest single-day foreign box office ($118 million).

And the giddiness is only going to get giddier. Records will continue to be broken in a summer that many industry insiders predict will be a record-breaking season for movie attendance.

In the coming weeks, records that are expected to be broken include:

* The biggest weekend haul ever for a green leading man, beating former record holders Incredible Hulk and Kermit the Frog.

* The biggest adjusted profit margin for a movie about people who wear eye patches. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, star Johnny Depp and the rest of the gang filmed the second and third installments of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise at the same time, so one has to assume that the big money made on the second movie took care of all of the expenses. The box-office take on the third movie is pure gravy.

* The biggest weekend haul for a sequel that nobody demanded. One can understand why the third "Spider-Man," "Shrek" and "Pirates" movies were made. In each case, the previous sequel not only made a ton of money but also was critically lauded (for the most part). But where was the love for "Ocean's Twelve"? Who liked it? Who went to see it? It was a terrible sequel, and even the people involved knew it. There are reports that the new film was going to be called "Ocean's Thirteen: We Owe You One." That's only funny if they refund the ticket admissions to people who paid to see the last one.

* The most money ever made by a former cast member of a cable TV show.

Steve Carell, who used to be a fake journalist on the fake news show "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," already holds the record ("The 40 Year-Old Virgin" and TV's "The Office") but his fee is huge for "Evan Almighty," which has broken a dubious record of its own as the most expensive movie comedy ever made. *