19 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

As Will Smith faced off against an army of androids, 20th Century Fox's I, Robot staked its claim as the newest summer blockbuster with an estimated $52.3 million opening weekend. The debut for the sci-fi action-thriller, helmed by Alex Proyas and suggested by the short stories of Isaac Asimov, represented a personal best for Smith -- a reliable summer draw -- topping the $52.1 million his Men in Black II, which Sony Pictures released in 2002, notched. Robot could claim the fourth-biggest opening since Memorial Day weekend, the official start of summer. Robot achieved those results even though it had to battle a crowded marketplace that includes the still-potent Spider-Man 2. The Tobey Maguire starrer from Sony moved into second place with an estimated $24.2 million, down 46% in its third frame. The Sam Raimi-directed sequel swung past the $300 million mark at a sizzling pace, reaching that level in 19 days, just one day shy of the record set by DreamWorks' Shrek 2 and three days earlier than the original Spider-Man film.

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