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Box Office Runway Cleared for ‘Terminal’
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Another Steven Spielberg – Tom Hanks matchup lands at theaters this weekend, and if history is any indicator, DreamWorks’ “The Terminal” has all the pedigree to knock “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” off its course.
Also vying for some box office dollars this crowded weekend are 20th Century Fox’s “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” and Disney’s “Around the World in 80 Days.”
The latest “Potter” installment brought in $37.9 million last weekend, its second, but it also slid 63%, suggesting some softness that opens a window for the Spielberg film to take over.
“Terminal” is targeting a wide demographic similar to the one captured by the previous Hanks-Spielberg pairing, “Catch Me If You Can,” which opened to $30 million during Christmas weekend in 2002. The PG-13 “Terminal,” a romantic comedy-drama based on a true story, stars Hanks as an Eastern European immigrant who becomes a resident of a New York airport terminal when his passport is voided after his home country’s government is overthrown. Adding to the film’s marquee allure are Catherine Zeta-Jones, playing the Hanks character’s love interest, with Stanley Tucci appearing as Hanks’ nemesis.
Sneaks of the film conducted June 11 to raise awareness with younger audiences saw 125 screens averaging 85% capacity. The film is tracking slightly female and older, but DreamWorks hopes positive word-of-mouth will helps lure the teen audience as well. Bowing in more than 2,800 runs, “The Terminal” should get close to “Catch Me’s” opening take.
However, DreamWorks’ efforts to reach a teen audience will be complicated by the comedy “Dodgeball,” starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Stiller and Vaughn, whose recent roles as goofy guys in “Starsky & Hutch” and “Old School,” respectively, have earned them a strong following with young men, should be able to strike at an audience that has been rather underserved in recent weeks. With many critics finding the movie’s lowbrow humor funny — very much to the surprise of some — “Dodgeball” is scheduled to bow in 2,694 theaters. It should earn in the high-teen millions and has the potential to garner upward of $20 million.
The crowded family audience is Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan’s target with their wacky, physical-comedy roles in the latest adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel “Around the World in 80 Days.” Directed by Frank Coraci (“The Waterboy,” “The Wedding Singer”), the film stars Chan as the partner of Coogan’s English adventurer.
Produced by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz’s Walden Media, “80 Days” opened Wednesday to $1.4 million from 2,612 theaters, coming in fourth place for the day behind “Potter,” “Shrek 2” and “Garfield: The Movie.” The packed marketplace may not bode well for “80 Days” considering that it lacks the brand-name appeal of its competitors.
Chan’s most recent movie, “The Medallion,” opened to only $8 million, but his previous feature, last year’s sequel “Shanghai Knights,” saw a much better $19.6 million opening. Industry insiders expect “80 Days” to fall somewhere in the middle, with the $13 million range as the best estimate for the three-day period.
In limited release, Paramount Classics will debut “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” in New York. British director Mike Hodges reteams with his “Croupier” star Clive Owen in a revenge tale in which Owen plays a former drug dealer lured back into the game to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of his rival.
Sony Pictures Classics will release “Facing Windows” in New York and Los Angeles. A recent festival darling, the R-rated Italian picture centers on an Italian woman who takes care of a Jewish Holocaust survivor.