Summer of sequels!

The major Hollywood studios are making big bets on some familiar names. With Spidey, Shrek, Jack Sparrow and Harry all on tap, could this be a record-breaking summer at the box office?

Spider-Man 3
May 4
Spider-Man 3
Sony (SNE)
This summer could wind up being the biggest ever at the box office. Sure, you probably hear that every year. But, with so many eagerly awaited sequels on tap, several movie industry analysts think 2007 could wind up surpassing both 2004's record box office gross as well as the record attendance levels set in 2002.

Film fans won't have to wait long to find out how hot the summer will be. "Spider-Man 3," a movie that many predict will be the season's biggest hit, comes out May 4. All the major stars from the first two movies are back and this film has several interesting new villains, including Sandman and Venom.

The first two adventures of Peter Parker grossed $403.7 million and $373.6 million in the U.S. respectively, according to figures from tracking firm Box Office Mojo.

And even though the box office take for the second movie was a bit lower, some analysts think "Spider-Man 3" can be a bigger hit than the second film because it will open up well before the rest of the big summer sequels. That wasn't the case in 2004, when "Spider-Man 2" came out in late June.

"Spider-Man 3 has the upper hand for the overall box office crown mainly because it has a two-week window of no competition before 'Shrek the Third' comes out," said Gitesh Pandya, editor of research firm BoxOfficeGuru.com. "It could have $250 million in the bank in the U.S. before Shrek even opens."

But Spider-Man better be a hit. The film's distributor, Sony, doesn't have that many other high profile movies coming out.

"Spider-Man should make Sony's season. It's the only big movie they've got," said Dennis McAlpine, an independent media analyst.


Spider-Man 3

Shrek the Third

Pirates of the Caribbean

Knocked Up

Ocean's 13

Fantastic Four

Evan Almighty

Live Free or Die Hard

Ratatouille

Transformers

Harry Potter

Chuck and Larry

The Simpsons

The Bourne Ultimatum

Rush Hour 3
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.