Columbia Tristar India's release of Spider-Man has set at least three new records in the territory having grossed nearly $1.4m from 250 screens on its first weekend - just three weeks after its US debut.

The film was released simultaneously in English and three local languages - Hindi, Tamil and Telugu - across 250 screens, the widest reach and biggest return for a Hollywood title since The Mummy Returns which opened on 175 screens to gross just short of $500,000.

Columbia's last big release was Godzilla with 163 prints which ended up grossing upwards of $ 5.5m. The highest-grossing US title in India is still Titanic at $10m.

Spiderman may also set a trend of bringing Hollywood product to Indian screens much faster than previously. The film was released in a record three weeks from its May 3 US opening - normally Hollywood films take between three- and six months to get to India.

The forthcoming release dates for Hollywood films in India are Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones (June 7), ET (digital version, May 31), The Scorpion King (July), Men In Black II (August), Minority Report (August), and Die Another Day (December 20).

And all the above are being released in India within weeks of their US premieres. In contrast, Harry Potter, released in the US in December 2001, only reached India in April 2002.

Besides severely hampering the video/DVD piracy market, this strategy means Indian grosses are being taken into account as part of the global audience share of every major Hollywood movie.

Nearly 200 Hollywood movies were imported into the territory last year generating an estimated total box office of some $30m.