7992 – I hope to see “Chicken Little” this weekend, but I also don’t know if I will get anywhere near a theatre, so we’ll see.

Box office banking on ‘Chicken’ coup
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Hollywood is looking desperately for its next box office hero, and all eyes this weekend are on “Chicken Little,” Walt Disney Studios’ first homegrown computer-animated film.
Universal Pictures also will be out in full force with the R-rated war picture “Jarhead,” from Oscar-winning “American Beauty” director Sam Mendes.
“Chicken Little,” which has been marketed to the hilt, should top $30 million, while “Jarhead” is expected to open in the $16 million-$18 million range. Last weekend’s champion was the gruesome thriller “Saw II,” with a better-than-expected bow of $31.7 million in its first three days.
Featuring the voices of Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Don Knotts, Amy Sedaris and others, “Chicken Little” is expected to have broad appeal, attracting families craving another animated film after getting a taste last month of DreamWorks’ “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.”
The movie, from director Mark Dindal (“The Emperor’s New Groove”), applies a new twist to the “sky is falling” story when a real piece of sky lands on a chicken with an already tarnished reputation.
Disney is under pressure to perform strongly with the movie, given its difficult relationship with Pixar Animation Studios Inc., the supplier of such hits as the “Toy Story” franchise and “The Incredibles.” It also will bow in select engagements as a new 3-D technological experience advertised as offering moviegoers something different.
“Jarhead,” set during the first Gulf War, might benefit from its timeliness as the current conflict in Iraq comes under increasing scrutiny. The film attempts to humanize the experience of a young Marine sent to the Middle East. Based on Anthony Swofford’s memoir, “Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles,” the movie has been preceded by a slick ad campaign and talk about performances from a cast featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx and Peter Sarsgaard.
“Jarhead” is skewing male, but women also are interested in the story of a trained sniper (Gyllenhaal) who is sent to Saudi Arabia. Filled with testosterone, “Jarhead” is a rare war film in that it features no combat.
In limited release, Strand Releasing will open “The Dying Gaul,” from writer-director Craig Lucas (“The Secret Lives of Dentists”). The R-rated film starring Patricia Clarkson, Sarsgaard and Campbell Scott centers on a grieving screenwriter (Sarsgaard) who is offered millions for his script on the condition that his personal story inspired by his lover who died of AIDS be changed to feature a female character. Having bowed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the intense “Gaul” will open in 11 theaters.
ThinkFilm will release “I Love Your Work” on two screens in Los Angeles. The R-rated film from director Adam Goldberg centers on a movie star ( Giovanni Ribisi) who, finding his life falling apart, begins stalking a young film student who reminds him of what life was like before he became famous.