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'Spider-Man' casts a wide web to top weekend box office

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File | Robert Downey Jr., who plays a young Spider-Man's mentor Iron Man in the new movie, during an appearance last month in New York.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - 

"Spider-Man: Homecoming," Sony's newest addition to the growing library of summertime superhero yarns, spun up an impressive opening in North American theaters this weekend, with ticket sales for the three-day weekend estimated at $117 million.

That would give the film the third-largest opening so far this year, behind "Beauty and the Beast" and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." Sony, along with Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, spent a hefty $175 million to make the film, but global sales have already surpassed $250 million, according to website boxofficemojo.com.

This family-friendly version of "Spider-Man" -- with a 93 percent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website -- stars Tom Holland as a young Peter Parker, ably mentored by Robert Downy Jr. as Iron Man as he takes on bad guy Vulture (Michael Keaton). Director Jon Watts had previously helmed lower-budget cop and horror films.

Last week's No. 1 film, "Despicable Me 3," came in second at a respectable $34 million, website Exhibitor Relations reported. In Universal's latest installment in the animated series, Steve Carell stars as the voice of bad guy-turned-protagonist Gru -- and his twin brother Dru. Kristen Wiig voices Gru's wife Lucy and "South Park" co-creator Trey Parker is evil villain Balthazar Bratt.

In third spot was Sony's heist thriller "Baby Driver," with Ansel Elgort ("The Fault in our Stars") starring as a gifted getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus -- ringing in his ears -- forcing him to play music on his iPod to concentrate when behind the wheel. It took in $12.7 million in its third week.

Fourth was "Wonder Woman," at $10.1 million. The Warner Bros. superhero action film stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot as the Amazonian goddess-princess.

And in fifth place was "Transformers: The Last Knight" from Paramount, with ticket sales of $6.3 million. The latest episode in that blockbuster series, heavy on visual effects, features actors Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Anthony Hopkins.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Cars 3" ($5.6 million)

"The House" ($4.8 million)

"The Big Sick" ($3.6 million)

"47 Meters Down" ($2.8 million)

"The Beguiled" ($2.0 million)

© 2017 AFP