It Must Be the Musical Numbers

Yeah, I've got plenty to mope aboutDespite a falloff of 60% from its debut “Spider-Man 3” still pulled in $60 million over the weekend, for a total domestic gross of $242 million.

How totally is the webhead’s latest movie dominating the box office? The #2 movie, “28 Weeks Later”, made only $10 million. (“Delta Farce” and “The Ex” took $3.5 and $1.3 million, respectively, and for that I am truly thankful.)

I suppose the success of “Spider-Man 3”, which is easily the weakest and sloppiest entry in the series, means Sony will put “Spider-Man 4” into production … with or without Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, all of whom have made noises about being kinda tired of the whole franchise.

I can handle the departure of Dunst; she barely seems to be present in this one, and in recent years her style has hardened in a way that works against the aggressive sunniness of Mary Jane Watson. I’m thinking maybe Samaire Armstrong, with the appropriate dye job, could step in there — she’s reliably lively and interesting in whatever she’s doing, even last summer’s Lindsay Lohan movie.

But Raimi and Maguire strike me as essential to what makes the “Spider-Man” series work: Raimi’s cartoony streak suits the outsized nature of the character, and Maguire’s soulful humanity keeps both Peter Parker and his masked alter-ego believable amidst all the swinging and fighting.

I mean, sure, an executive could swap them out for Brett Ratner and Jake Gyllenhaal and hope for the best. But that seems like a really bad idea to me.

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