18 May 2007 11:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

What's so special about May?

Of course, it's the grande dame of film festivals, the Festival de Cannes, which has been held in May for the past 60 years. But Thomas Mallory's hoary observation about the "lusty month of May" also applies to the global boxoffice, with summer tentpoles now staking out their day-and-date claims to the month with unprecedented gusto.

Internationally, the May syndrome received a major lift early this month when Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man 3" set all-time international opening records of $176.6 million for a conventional weekend opening and $231 million for a six-day blast.

DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's animated sequel "Shrek the Third" gets off the ground in four international markets this weekend. Then, on WednesdayMay 23, Disney/Bvi's third film in the "Pirates" franchise -- "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" -- lifts off in France and explodes around the globe by the end next week.

Even before "Spidey 3" ratified »

- By Hy Hollinger

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