May 07, 2002 01:02 PM

If at first you succeed, keep going. After “Spider-Man,” starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, smashed box office records with its $114 million opening weekend, a sequel is already in the works — and, reports the Associated Press, the finished film will hit theaters exactly two years from today: May 7, 2004. A Part III is also planned. Shooting on Part II is scheduled to begin next year. The popularity of the movie — based on the Marvel Comics character — is being felt far and wide, but not always in a good way. The AP also reports that over the weekend in Manhattan, a burglar made off with rare comic books from a store called Action Comics, including the first issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man.” Police told the news service that on Saturday a man entered the store and approached sales clerk Stuart Bowler. The purported customer then reached into a duffel bag and said, according to Bowler, “I have to show you these things.” As Bowler explained: “I thought he was trying to sell some books, because everyone’s always trying to sell books. But then he pulls out a gun.” Bowler recalled the man being polite and apologetic as he put handcuffs on the clerk and cleared the shelves of more than $2,000 worth of rare comic books. “He said, ‘I’m sorry. I hate to have to do it this way, but I really need the money,'” said Bowler, who noted that the man unloaded the gun while still in the store before he headed into the crowded street outside. He has not yet been caught. Where’s Spidy when you need him?

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