Monday, May 07, 2007

Spider-Man 3 and Mayweather highlight action-packed weekend

It was a huge weekend for sports and entertainment in Las Vegas and throughout the rest of the country. Check out Saturday's events: Kentucky Derby, baseball games, Big Boxing match in Las Vegas, basketball playoffs and another Super Hero film.

My question is: Who made more money? Spider-man or De La Hoya and Mayweather?

Spider-Man 3 set a half-dozen box-office records this weekend, including biggest debut with $148 million, according to studio estimates from Nielsen EDI. The opening handily reclaimed several benchmarks set last year by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, including biggest opening day and most single-day ticket sales.

It also provided a tantalizing salvo in the battle this summer between the major sequels of May: Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, which opens May 18, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which premieres May 25.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, De La Hoya made a guaranteed $25 million in an event hyped as the biggest in boxing history. His Golden Boy Promotions co-promoted the fight, so when all receipts are counted, he could haul in more than $40 million.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. was guaranteed $10 million but figures to collect more through his percentage of the pay-per-view sales.

Mayweather lived up to his billing as the favorite in this weekend's welterweight title fight with Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas. Despite a spirited challenge, Mayweather scored a split decision victory over De La Hoya before a sold-out, star-studded crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Saturday night. After the fight, the 30-year-old Mayweather said he's hanging up his gloves to pursue other interests, but many boxing experts predict Mayweather will return to the ring. With the win, Mayweather maintained his perfect career record, now at 38-0. Oscar fell to 38-5. The 34-year-old De La Hoya said he'll return to Puerto Rico and consider his future options. The bout set a record for highest grossing live gate revenue, and is also expected to set pay-per-view records when the final numbers come in later this week.

A horse named Street Sense also had a decent payday Saturaday at Churchill Downs. The purse for Kentucky Derby day totaled $2,210,000. The attendance of 156,000 adoring fans was the third largest in history. Queen Elizabeth, who owns horses, was also in attendance. This was her first Kentucky Derby.

But before De La Hoya and Mayweather were even taped for their fight, there came an announcement out of New York about another mult-million dollar deal for a old face.

With a seventh-inning announcement, Roger Clemens made himself a returning hero, a difference-maker, and a whole big pile of cash.

According to CNN, Clemens, who was on his way into retirement the last time he was being cheered wildly by a Yankee Stadium crowd, agreed to a one-year, $28-million contract to don pinstripes for the remainder of 2007. The deal is the biggest in baseball history by average annual value, and includes the highest single-season salary ever paid to a major-league player. Clemens won't get quite that much money, as he won't join the Yankees for another month, but two-thirds of that figure, about $18.5 million, makes for quite the incentive to return. The cost is greater to the Yankees; throw in the luxury tax hit on this addition to the payroll, and they're committing about $26 million.

But not all was good in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Hours after the fight, five people were killed in drunk driving crash on a dark street in Northwest Las Vegas.

It has been described as one of the worst drunk driving crashes in Las Vegas history. It happened late Saturday night on Farm Road near Tenaya. Police say 19-year-old Ronald Jayne Junior was drunk and speeding eastbound on Farm when he ran a stop sign and smashed into an SUV with a family inside. The impact ruptured the SUV's gas tank and caused it to burst into flames.

A 32-year-old woman, two boys between ages 8 and 11, and a girl around one-year-old were killed at the scene, while a fifth victim, an infant boy, died Sunday morning from his injuries. Three others survived the crash and were taken to UMC. Two are in critical condition and one in serious condition. Jayne was treated for moderate injuries, and arrested on at least 20 criminal charges, including DUI causing death and reckless driving causing death. Police say Jayne is now on suicide watch at the Clark County Detention Center.