The spandex one-piece and wise-cracking come-backs weren't the only familiar things about Spider-Man 3, as Sony's favourite super-hero swung back into action with a sensational estimated $148m three-day domestic opening that returned the franchise to its record-breaking ways established by the first episode in 2002.

Spider-Man 3 spun a staggering $375m six-day global result from 107 countries that incorporated a $227m international haul, setting new marks in the domestic, international and worldwide arenas. The domestic performance swatted aside the previous mark of $135.6m set last summer by Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

'We've kicked off the summer in an unprecedented way and we have got a couple of weeks clear before everybody else,' Jeff Blake, chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group and vice chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said. 'It's really uncharted territory. The world loves Spider-Man.'

Sony's latest web-slinging yarn opened in a record 4,252 domestic theatres and cast a monolithic shadow over the North American charts, boosted by a powerhouse $59.3m opening day that became the biggest in industry history. The previous record of $55.8m was held by Pirates 2.

The domestic gross incorporated a record $4.76m on 84 North American IMAX screens, creating a $56,760 per-screen average.

Spidey's thunderous entry into the charts boosted the overall box office by 77% from the same weekend last year as the top 12 films combined for $176.6m. Spider-Man 3 averaged $34,807 in theatres and should cross $200m by next weekend, when it will have the market to itself for a second weekend before the May 18 launch of Shrek The Third.

Warner Bros' drama Lucky You with Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore was the only other new release in the top 10, and opened in sixth place on $2.5m.

Next weekend's wide releases are: Fox Atomic's zombie sequel 28 Weeks Later starring Robert Carlyle; Lionsgate's comedy Delta Farce with Larry The Cable Guy; and Universal's family saga Georgia Rule with Lindsay Lohan, Jane Fonda, and Felicity Huffman.

Estimated Top 10 North America May 4-6, 2007
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date

1 (-) Spider-Man 3 (Sony) SPRI $148m -
2 (1) Disturbia (Paramount) PPI $5.7m $59.9m
3 (4) Fracture (New Line) NLI $3.4m $26.5m
4 (2) The Invisible (Buena Vista) BVI $3.1m $12.3m
5 (3) Next (Paramount) Initial $2.8m $11.8m
6 (-) Lucky You (Warner Bros) WBPI/Village Roadshow $2.5m -
7 (7) Meet The Robinsons (Buena Vista) BVI $2.5m $91.8m
8 (5) Blades Of Glory (Paramount) PPI/UPI $2.3m $111.6m
9 (6) Hot Fuzz (Rogue Pictures) UPI $2.1m $16.1m
10 (10) Are We Done Yet' (Sony) SPRI $1.7m $46.1m