I saw “Elektra” on Friday. It was good, but not great. There must be a lot on the cutting room floor!

‘Coach’ Ready to Play at Weekend Box Office
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Hollywood is taking advantage of the first holiday frame of 2005, offering four new wide releases to duke it out over what should be a competitive extended weekend.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday offers something for everyone, with fare ranging from a family title and a comic-book actioner to an urban drama and an adult romantic comedy.
Paramount Pictures’ “Coach Carter” is looking like a big winner for the three-day period. If so, it would allow Paramount to continue a comeback streak that began in November with “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” and continued in December with “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
“Carter” could open at numbers north of $20 million for the three-day frame, ahead of reigning champ “Meet the Fockers.” Based on a true story, it stars Samuel L. Jackson as Ken Carter, the controversial high school basketball coach who benched his undefeated team because of their poor academic record. The PG-13 film comes from director Thomas Carter (“Save the Last Dance”). R&B singer Ashanti co-stars.
Warner Bros. Pictures is hoping to give “Carter” a run for the top spot by bowing “Racing Stripes,” a film combining live action with computer animation for the family audience. From FedEx founder Fred Smith’s production company Alcon Entertainment, “Stripes” features the voices of Frankie Muniz, Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg and others. It follows the story of an abandoned zebra (Muniz) who grows up believing he is a racehorse. Frederik Du Chau (“Quest for Camelot”) wrote and directed the film.
Rated PG, “Stripes” is bowing during the same holiday weekend as the 2003 Warners release “Kangaroo Jack.” That film opened to $16.5 million over the frame and went on to be successful. Warners is hoping for a similar performance this holiday, which would put it behind “Carter” in the weekend tallies.
20th Century Fox will be out to reach young males this weekend with its comic-book adaptation “Elektra.” Starring Jennifer Garner of “Alias” TV fame, “Elektra” is a spinoff of the 2003 comic-book actioner “Daredevil,” which starred Garner’s boyfriend, Ben Affleck. Co-produced by Marvel Studios, “Elektra” follows the adventures of a female assassin with special powers after she is brought back to life.
The hope is that a female comic-book hero can attract more business than history suggests. Last year, Warners’ “Catwoman,” starring Halle Berry, failed to connect with audiences. In the case of “Elektra,” industry insiders put the PG-13 film from director Rob Bowman (“Reign of Fire”) in the mid-teen-millions range for the three days.
Meanwhile, Universal expands “In Good Company” to 1,565 theaters Friday. The PG-13 film, from writer-director Paul Weitz (“About a Boy”), has been screening in three theaters since Dec. 29. With Dennis Quaid, Scarlett Johansson and Topher Grace on board, it has received positive reviews.
Sony Pictures Classics is expanding Zhang Yimou’s martial-arts epic “House of Flying Daggers” to almost 1,200 theaters. Last weekend, Zhang was hailed as best director of 2004 by the National Society of Film Critics, which recognized him for both “Daggers” and “Hero.”
Limited release “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera” will add more than 250 runs to its current 622. Newmarket will expand “The Woodsman,” and Warner Independent Pictures will add 250 theaters to its French film “A Very Long Engagement.”
Miramax Films will open the French film “Les Choristes” (The Chorus) in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. The PG-13 film is France’s official entry for Academy Award consideration. It centers on a professor of music who becomes the supervisor at a boarding school for troubled boys.