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'Spider-Man 3' Sets Records in Asian Debuts

Actor Tobey Maguire in a scene from "Spider-Man 3."

"Spider-Man 3" smashed box office records across eight Asian markets Tuesday, as the superhero sequel got a head start on the rest of the world, the film's distributor said.

"It was bigger than 'Spider-Man' and 'Spider-Man 2' everywhere," said Sony Pictures vice chairman Jeff Blake.

Leading the way was Japan, where its opening-day sales of 415 million yen ($3.5 million) ranked as the biggest for a Tuesday. Films in Japan normally open on a Saturday, which is a bigger moviegoing day.

The Sony Corp.-owned studio launched the world premiere on home territory, in Tokyo, last week. The film, which the studio said cost $258 million to make, reunites stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst with director Sam Raimi.

In South Korea and Hong Kong, the picture set new marks for the biggest opening day, taking in 3.2 billion won ($3.4 million) and 7.5 million Hong Kong dollars ($960,000), respectively.

Sales in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand were the highest for any single day, opening or otherwise. Taiwan sales were the biggest for any weekday.

The film also opened Tuesday in eight European markets, including Germany and France. Sony said it would release an international tally Wednesday. The film will open across North America Friday.