I wanna see Jennifer Garner…her movie! I wanna see her movie!

Washington, Garner Fire Up Weekend Box Office
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Some genuine suspense appears to surround this weekend’s box office matchup.
The two new wide releases couldn’t be more different: the hard-edged revenge thriller “Man on Fire” faces off against the lighthearted comedy “13 Going on 30.” But because each film has several drawing points as well as a couple of drawbacks, it could make for a close race.
Vengeance has ruled at the box office in recent weeks. Last weekend, “Kill Bill-Vol. 2” reigned with a $25.1 million haul, with “The Punisher” scoring the second spot. Three weekends ago, “Hellboy” held sway with $23.2 million, and “Walking Tall” claimed the runner-up position. And even though it runs the risk of courting moviegoers whose death wish might be satiated, “Man on Fire” should continue what Uma Thurman’s “Kill Bill” character called the “roaring rampage of revenge.”
Certainly, “Man on Fire,” from 20th Century Fox/New Regency Enterprises, boasts top-notch credentials to guarantee that attention will be paid. Oscar winner Denzel Washington plays a military vet serving as a bodyguard to little Dakota Fanning in Mexico City. When she is abducted despite his best efforts, Washington is forced to shift into righteous action, choreographed by director Tony Scott, whose credits range from “Top Gun” to “Spy Game.”
The movie’s tony collaborators lend the film a note of gravitas that could well pull in moviegoers older than the young-male demographic that is the core audience for action pics. Washington’s presence should attract a wide range of moviegoers — among them blacks. And by putting Fanning in jeopardy, the filmmakers are even courting an older female audience. Fox added one more element to its marketing arsenal by opening the film Wednesday in single theaters in Los Angeles and New York to ignite the buzz. (It picked up $19,825 for the day in its two engagements.)
At the same time, the film also must contend with the restrictions of its R rating, a running time of almost 2-1/2 hours, and the fact that some thrill-seekers will be siphoned away by the second weekend of “Bill 2” and “The Punisher.” Arriving in 2,979 theaters, “Man” could be looking at an opening weekend that registers in the high-teen millions — possibly even flirting with the $20 million mark.
Although it packs a softer punch and is aiming for a very different audience — primarily females in their teens and 20s as well as any older women it can corral — “13 Going on 30” could give “Man” a run for its money. Directed by Gary Winick, the Sony Pictures/Revolution Studios release stars Jennifer Garner as a 13-year-old who suddenly finds herself inhabiting the body of a 30-year-old.
When they work, body-transfer comedies can be catnip for moviegoers. “Big” (1988) proved to be one of Tom Hanks’ earliest successes. And just last year, the remake of “Freaky Friday,” starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, was a surprise success, pulling in $110 million. With a couple of national sneak previews under its belt, “13,” with its audience-friendly PG-13 rating, hopes to prove that it’s just as appealing.
But it also has a few hurdles to overcome. Although Revolution is positioning Garner as the next Julia Roberts (news), this is the first film that the star of ABC’s cult hit “Alias” has been asked to carry by herself. And in recent months, younger females have proved fickle, mostly ignoring a string of romantic concoctions like “The Prince & Me” and “Chasing Liberty.” Making a stand in 3,438 theaters, a wider opening than “Man’s,” “13” is also tracking in the high-teen millions.
Meanwhile, setting up shop in 417 theaters, Warner Bros. Pictures is continuing its rollout of the animated kids movie “Clifford’s Really Big Movie,” directed by Robert C. Ramirez. And Imax is beginning its rollout of “Sacred Planet,” a documentary narrated by Robert Redford about Earth’s few remaining unspoiled locales.
On the specialty film scene, ThinkFilm unveils “The Agronomist,” Jonathan Demme’s documentary about the late Haitian radio journalist and human rights activist Jean Dominique.