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''Monsters'' will stomp to No. 1 again

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Monsters, Inc.

Memo to Gwyneth Paltrow: Monsters age really well. At least that’s what the Oscar winner will learn this weekend, as her new comedy ”Shallow Hal” is trounced at the box office by the second weekend of the animated smash ”Monsters, Inc.”

After their mammoth $62 million debut, Disney and Pixar’s trolls will draw the family crowd in droves again this weekend. Unlike action films, kids’ films hold on nicely in their second and third weekends since families don’t always feel the need to rush out to a movie in its opening weekend. A typical 35 percent drop for ”Monsters, Inc.” would bring in another $40 million, easily topping the $100 million mark.

”Shallow Hal,” starring Paltrow as an overweight woman who appears as stick-thin to a hypnotized womanizer (played by Jack Black), is the latest rib-tickler from the Farrelly Brothers. While considered two of Hollywood’s funniest filmmakers, their recent box office receipts have been spotty at best. After ”Me, Myself, and Irene” with Jim Carrey failed to break $100 million, ”Say It Isn’t So” (which they produced) and ”Osmosis Jones” were big-time flops, grossing $19 million COMBINED. Because of dual fan bases for Paltrow and Black, ”Shallow Hal” should get an $18 million opening.

Last weekend’s other impressive debut, Jet Li’s action flick ”The One,” will likely nab No. 3. A 45 percent drop would give ”The One” another $10 million. Fourth place, meanwhile, could go to David Mamet’s latest talkative entry, ”Heist,” starring Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito, which is expected to gross about $9 million. And John Travolta’s ”Domestic Disturbance” will round out the top five after debuting last week at No. 3 with $14 million. The positively buzz-free flick should drop 45 percent to around $8 million, helping the drama make more money than Travolta did.

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