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Will it be a Record Breaking Weekend?

May 13th, 2005

Summer is officially starting ... in 6 days. That's when Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith begins. In the meantime we have to suffer through another sub-par weekend, which could result in a record-breaking slump. On the other hand, there are four films opening wide, or at least wide enough to make it into the top ten, but only two of those films have a shot at top spot.

Kicking and Screaming is the closet we have to a sure thing this weekend and is the only film with a shot at making it to blockbuster status. Will Ferrell has a lot of drawing power and the family friendly nature of the film should help draw in moviegoers during its opening weekend. But its merely average reviews will prevent it from reaching its full potential. Look for $26 million this weekend and $85 million overall.

Monster-In-Law is the fourth In-Laws movie released in the past year, and looking at their track record it's no surprise why. This film is much nastier than the rest, both in terms of tone and in terms of quality, which should hurt the film's chances at the box office. The film should crack $20 million opening weekend and about $66 million during its run.

Kingdom of Heaven may have gotten off to a slow start, but with a more mature target audience it should stick around longer than it otherwise would. It should suffer a sub-40% drop-off leaving it with $12.5 million for the weekend, which is a case of too little too late for this hugely expensive film.

Up next is the third new release of the weekend, Unleashed. On the one hand, it is the best reviewed wide release of the weekend. On the other hand, it's opening in only 1,955 theaters. Also hurting the film's chances is its double-genre; the drama parts won't interest those that came to see Jet Li kick ass while the disturbing treatment Bob Hoskins inflicts on Jet Li will keep those interested in a human drama away. So look for $12 million over the weekend and under $30 million total.

Rounding out the top five should be Crash with roughly $6 million. While both House of Wax and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy beat it at the box office last weekend, its more mature target audience should give the film stronger legs.

The final wide release of the week is Mindhunters, a film that has been pushed back more than two years and has had a dozen release dates in the meantime. The reviews are substantially better than expected at 35% positive (single digits were expected). But the film is only opening in a little more than 1,000 theaters, with almost no buzz and that will really hurt the film's chances. Look for $3 million to $4 million with a real possibility of missing the top ten.

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Filed under: Monster-in-Law, Crash, Kicking and Screaming, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Kingdom of Heaven, House of Wax, Danny the Dog, Mindhunters