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Ghost Rider hauled in an estimated $44.5 million over the weekend and heading into President's Day to rule the box office.

The film improved on its Friday performance with an estimated $17.7 million on Saturday, followed by $11.7 million on Sunday.

"We are all very happy. It's a fantastic opening," Ghost Rider producer Gary Foster told The Continuum on Sunday night. "Bigger than any of us expected. It looks like we will break the President's Day record set by 50 First Dates -- $45.1 million. If things go as expected, we may even break the $50-million barrier. What a great 'ride!'

"Obviously, if the movie continues to perform at these high levels, a sequel is possible. Although we have not had any official conversations with the studio. Of course we would love to continue to tell the story of Ghost Rider. Only time will tell."

Ghost Rider doubled up its nearest competitor, Bridge to Terabithia, which had $22.1 million.

By comparison, Daredevil, which was also directed by Ghost Rider's Mark Steven Johnson, pulled in $40.3 million in its first three days and $45.0 million over the same expanded four-day weekend in 2003.

Ghost Rider became the 11th Marvel film to open at No. 1, joining Blade, X-Men, Blade II, Spider-Man, Daredevil, X2, Hulk, Spider-Man 2, Fantastic Four and X-Men: The Last Stand.

Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige characterized the opening as "huge."

In other Ghost Rider news, star Nicolas Cage was the Grand Marshal at the Daytona 500 on Sunday. He is shown above giving drivers instructions to start their engines, along with a shot with Kelly Clarkston.

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Marvel Comics' panel at MegaCon on Saturday was a bit of a CrossGen reunion but mostly a collection of some of today's top-selling artists.

Brandon Peterson, Mike Perkins, David Finch, Tim Townsend and Steve McNiven fielded questions for the hour-long session.

For the highlights, CLICK HERE.


High on spirit but low on news, editor Mike Marts, writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti and artists Ethan VanSciver and J.G. Jones were featured in a DC Comics panel at MegaCon on Saturday.

For the highlights, CLICK HERE.

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* Heroic Publishing has provided The Continuum an early look at Mark Sparacio's cover designs for Liberty Girl #5 and the Liberty Girl trade paperback, both currently scheduled for July.

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In case you missed The Continuum's coverage over the past month, here are some links. Click on the date to get the day's full report.

* Tuesday, February 13: Marvel Comics for May, Lynda Carter on Smallville, Battlestar Galactica renewed, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer toys, Fallen Angel, Dynamite Entertainment First Looks, Action Comics and Heroes.

* Monday, February 12: DC Comics for May, Smallville's Miles Millar and Al Gough, Zack Snyder talks Watchmen movie and Legion of Super Heroes.

* Sunday, February 11: DC Comics for May preview, The Simpsons Toys and Wanted movie.

* Saturday, February 10: Battlestar Galactica, Ocean movie?, Zen's 20th anniversary and First Looks.

* Friday, February 9: Ghost Rider, Heroes, The Batman, First Looks and Smallville.

* Thursday, February 8: New seasons for Legion of Super Heroes and The Batman, Marvel Comics First Looks and Whiteout movie.

* Wednesday, February 7: 300, The Boys at Dynamite Entertainment, First Looks and World of Warcraft action figures.

* Tuesday, February 6: Dark Horse Comics for May, Aspen Comics for May, Jeff Bridges joins Iron Man movie, DC Comics First Looks, Black Panther and 300's Gerard Butler.

* Monday, February 5: Painkiller Jane, Spider-Man 3, Shawn Levy to direct The Flash, Smallville, Image Comics First Looks and Battlestar Galactica.

* Sunday, February 4: IDW Publishing for May, The Amazing Screw-On Head and Heroes.

* Saturday, February 3: Stan Lee on Heroes, Legion of Super Heroes and The Batman renewed, Smallville, The Simpsons and First Looks.

* Friday, February 2: Joss Whedon off Wonder Woman and David Goyer off Flash, The Batman's Alan Burnett, WildStorm/Vertigo collections, BlueWater Productions for May, Heroic Publishing for May and Moonstone Books for May.

* Thursday, February 1: Smallville, Civil War #7 variant, DC Universe collections, TwoMorrows Publishing for May and Heroes.

* Wednesday, January 31: Marvel First Looks, Legion of Super Heroes, Image First Looks, Adam Beechen on Teen Titans, Firebreather and Family Guy.

* Tuesday, January 30: KISS, George Perez, Heroes, Marvel First Looks, DC roundup, Krypto the Superdog and BlueWater Productions graphic novels.

* Monday, January 29: From Phoenix Cactus Comicon -- Hellboy's Mike Mignola, Mighty Avengers' Angel Medina and Feedback; plus, DC Comics First Looks, The Simpsons and Stephen Colbert.

* Sunday, January 28: Smallville, Rob Liefeld, Heroes and Archie Comics First Looks.

* Saturday, January 27: Ghost Rider movie, Free Comic Book Day titles and Battlestar Galactica.

* Friday, January 26: Marvel Comics First Looks, Smallville, Painkiller Jane, Hero Initiative's Ultimate Spider-Man covers and Fell trade paperback.

* Thursday, January 25: DC Comics teaser image, TMNT's Kevin Munroe and Tom Gray, 300 goes IMAX, DC's World War III, The Tick, Virgin Comics for April and Heroes.

* Wednesday, January 24: Smallville, Dynamite Entertainment for April, Marvel animation, Image First Looks, DC First Looks and Spider-Man 3.

* Tuesday, January 23: Marvel Animation, Marvel First Looks, 300, Transformers movie images, Kevin Spacey on Superman sequel, Oni Press for April, Avatar Press for April, Smallville and Heroes.

* Monday, January 22: Invincible Iron Man's Marc Worden, Markosia named editor-in-chief, Image Comics' Unravel, Dark Horse First Looks and Battlestar Galactics.

* Sunday, January 21: BlueWater Productions self-publishers, First Looks and HeroClix's Fin Fang Foom.

* Saturday, January 20: Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider and Spawn.

* Friday, January 19: Smallville, Boom! Studios for April, Fathom: Kiani, 300 and Family Guy.

* Thursday, January 18: Smallville, Legion of Super Heroes, Devil's Due Publishing for April, Image First Looks and Marvel First Looks.

* Wednesday, January 17: Legion of Super Heroes' James Tucker, Image Comics for April, Iron Man's Gwyneth Paltrow, Heroes, Smallville and 300.

* Tuesday, January 16: Marvel Comics for April, Marvel First Looks, The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, 2006 sales and Dynamite Entertainment First Looks.

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