Comics rule the box office again: 'MIB II' shatters records, 'Spider-Man' joins an elite group

In what's become a recurring theme this summer, another comic based film has set records at the box office.

[MIB II]According to Box Office Mojo, "Men In Black II" brought in just shy of $88 million bucks in U.S. receipts over the five day July 4th holiday. This is a record box office for a movie released on a July 4th weekend. The previous record holder was "Independence Day." "MIB II" reportedly cost $140 million to make. "Men In Black" is based on a comic book created by Lowell Cunningham, originally published by Malibu Comics, which was then purchased by Marvel Comics in the early '90s.

[Spider-Man]The good Hollywood comic news doesn't stop there. That big block buster "Spider-Man" continues to make news. Ol' Web head brought in just enough receipts this past weekend to propel the film's overall domestic take above a whopping $400 million. Additionally, in its 66th day of release, "Spider-Man" tied "Titanic" as the fastest movie in history to hit the $400 million mark.

Hitting the $400 million mark places the film in an elite class as only five films total have ever pulled in that amount or greater.. Ahead of "Spider-Man" at #4 is "Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace" with $431 million, #3 sees "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial" with $434 million, at #2 sits the original "Star Wars" film with $461 million and the "King of the World," "Titanic," sits atop that list with $600 million. While it's unlikely "Spider-Man" will surpass "The Phantom Menace," stranger things have happened in Hollywood.

[Road to Perdition]The good news for comic fans doesn't end there. This Friday another film based on a comic hits theaters. "The Road to Perdition," Starring big-box-office maker Tom Hanks with Paul Newman and Jude Law, is based on an original graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner. It's directed by Sam Mendes who's last movie was the Academy Award winning "American Beauty." While this movie may not bring in the same sort of box office that "Spider-Man" or "MIB II" has, it will draw large audiences and very likely some award nominations next year. For more on "Road to Perdition," read a June interview with Max Allan Collins here on CBR.

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