Spider-Man met his match this weekend failing to live up to opening box office expectations in the UK as audiences stayed in with World Cup fever.

After its record-breaking launch in the US was followed by a slew of records around the world, much was expected of the web-slinger in the UK. However the superhero had to contend with a 12-certificate and lunchtime England and Ireland football matches on Saturday and Sunday.

Spider-Man's opening gross for the UK and Ireland was $13.9m (£9.4m) from 509 sites - a stunning average of $27,357. These figures include three-days of previews (on June 8, 9 and 13) of $5.2m (£3.5m) at 492 sites.

The fifth highest UK opening of all time, trailing Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Spider-Man set a record for biggest UK opening for a film with a BBFC certificate higher than PG - ahead of 1996's Independence Day (also a 12) and 2001's Hannibal (18). Potter, Episode II and Rings were all PG, Episode I was a U.

However minus previews the actual three-day opening (June 14-16) was only the third highest of the year so far. With $8.7m (£5.9m), the film ranked behind 20th Century Fox's Episode II three-day figure of $13.4m (£9.1m) from 467 sites (40 fewer than Spider-Man), and BVI's Monsters, Inc., which took $9.6m (£6.5m) at 502 sites.

It is certainly possible that the 12-certificate may have hindered the films appeal, with early morning screenings, usually filled by younger children and their parents, less well attended.

However it is more likely that the takings were hit by World Cup football matches for both England on Saturday lunchtime and Ireland on Sunday lunchtime. Over 15 million people watched the England game at home on Saturday and even more saw it in pubs around the country. England's win also meant many continued to celebrate throughout the day rather than heading to the multiplexes.

Despite the football, Spider-Man still led the weekend box office to a massive rise of 110% week-on-week and 130% year-on-year (when Pearl Harbor led the chart in its third week).