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Will Either New Release Hit a Home Run?

April 8th, 2005

Two wide releases hit theatres tonight, compared to the five that come out this time last year. But overall this year should still come out on top. And while neither of the films looks like it will be a massive, breakout hit, at least they don't look like they will be massive bombs either and that should lead to an interesting weekend at the box office.

It has been nearly two years since the $130 million movie, Sahara, was planned to be released. And now that it is finally coming out, it looks like the studio won't be able to recover half if its investment. The buzz is lacking, and if the reviews are anything to go by, the word of mouth will kill this film's legs. Earlier in the month the film was expected to open with $22 million to $24 million. Now, it might still earn that, but it also could only earn half that, or less. Split the difference and you get a $17 million opening and $50 million overall.

On the other hand, Fever Pitch appears to have a lot more going for it than expected. It's getting a much wider launch at close to 3300 screens, it's reviews are much better than expected at 66% positive so it should be a contender for top spot with $16 million. If the film outperforms over the weekend it will have a lot to do with Drew Barrymore's appeal in romantic comedies. Conversely, if the film bombs it will have a lot to do with Jimmy Fallon's lack of appeal in just about everything.

Also have a shot at first place is Sin City, which crushed most people's predictions last week. This week we see if the best reviews for a wide release this year can overcome the Fan Boy Effect that usually accompanies comic adaptations. A 60% drop-off wouldn't be that shocking, however, the film will probably only drop 50% to $14.5 million. Pie in the sky, it could hit $16 million and repeat in top spot.

Rounding out the top five will be two films in a tight battle for fourth place. Beauty Shop may have won the race with Guess Who last weekend, but things should be different this time around. The latter remake should top the former spin-off $7.5 million to $7 million.

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Filed under: Sin City, Guess Who, Sahara, Fever Pitch, Beauty Shop