Second-Helping Summer

Movie sequels are getting raves and raking it in. Why we love deja-view

Everybody loves a hero," Peter Parker's Aunt May tells him in Spider-Man 2. "People line up for 'em." This summer they have lined up at the multiplexes for two unlikely heroes: Peter, the quiet college student who when duty calls becomes Spider-Man, and Shrek, the green ogre out of a revisionist fairy tale.

Two weekends ago, Shrek 2 passed the first Spider-Man installment to become the fifth top-grossing film of all time. Spider-Man 2 has set records of its own: it reached the $200 million mark for domestic box office in just eight days. These two sequels--and the third Harry...

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