Despite mixed reviews, it appears Spider-Man 3 is on its way to setting an opening day record at the box office. Reports, including one from Deadline Hollywood, claim the third installment raked in a whopping $59 million on Friday; a number that was helped tremendously by a slew of midnight showings across the country. If those figures hold up, that total soars past the opening day record set last year by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($55.8 million) and clearly puts the film in a position to regain the weekend record from Dead Man's Chest after that film out-grossed the original Spider-Man in 2006. What does this all mean? Nothing, really -- except I wouldn't be surprised if greedy studio execs are now brainstorming ways to get both Spidey and Captain Jack Sparrow in the same movie.

So, what type of numbers are we looking at come Monday morning? How about $140 million? Yes, folks are estimating Spider-Man 3 to gross between $138 and $145 million when it's all said and done. In three days. Not only that, but box office business is already up 60% from the same weekend last year, setting the stage for what most feel will go down as the highest grossing summer in Hollywood history; reports indicate the end result could fall somewhere in the $4.5 billion range. Ridiculous, I say. But now that puts the pressure on Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End. The fun thing is that we don't have to wait another year to see if one franchise beats the other; heck, both films are debuting only a few weeks apart. However, from a critical standpoint, the praise was a lot higher for Spider-Man 2 than it was for Dead Man's Chest. Add on to that the fact that there's been more time in between Spidey sequels, allowing fans to really build some hype. Though it's quite obvious that both franchises are critic proof, one does have to wonder whether that statistic will have an affect on Pirates 3 opening weekend. What do you think?