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Sith Aim for Trilogy of Wins

June 3rd, 2005

Three new wide releases enter a crowded marketplace this week, but it's unlikely any of them will unseat current champ, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. The biggest box office hit of the year has more to worry about from fellow holdover Madagascar than any of the new films. On a sad note, despite the number of strong contenders at the box office, analysts expect another drop-off from this time last year when Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban set records.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is odds on favorite to take top spot this weekend and, more importantly, should tie or break the record for fastest to $300 million along the way. Even with the post-holiday drop-off, which should slice its box office in half, the film should come out on top with $27 million, hitting $300 million either late Saturday or early Sunday.

Madagascar should come in a close second with $25 million. On the one hand, its younger demographic should translate into better legs. On the other hand, sophomore weekends usually suffer a greater drop-off than third weekends and beyond (barring a massive decline in theater count). If the former has more effect than the latter, the film could overtake Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and finish first, but that's not the most likely scenario.

The first new release of the week should be the Oscar caliber film, Cinderella Man. Like Seabiscuit in 2004 and Road to Perdition the year before that, this film should start out well enough, but its legs will make it a hit. Look for $22.5 million this weekend and $100 million to $125 million overall.

The Longest Yard is almost guaranteed to lose more than 50% of its box office - the post-holiday weekend will see to that. Even so, that leaves the film with $22 million over the weekend and closing in on $100 million during its run.

Rounding out the top five is the second new release of the week, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, which managed to hit expectations nearly perfectly. It should crack $10 million over the weekend and thanks to stellar reviews should have strong legs.

The last new wide release of the weekend is Lords of Dogtown, which have very little going for it. No real drawing power among the cast, reviews that are best described as mediocre and opening in less than 2,000 theaters. All that adds up to a sixth place finish and $8 million at the box office. Those that are interested in the subject matter but are turned off by the lackluster reviews should really check out the documentary, Dogtown and Z-Boys instead.

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Filed under: Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith, Madagascar, The Longest Yard, Cinderella Man, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Lords of Dogtown