Movie-loving families rejoice! Two parent- and child-friendly flicks will compete for the top spot at the box office this weekend, as the rerelease of ”E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” battles last week’s smash hit ”Ice Age” for family bucks.
Thanks to its colossal $46.3 million opening, the computer-animated ”Ice Age” should have no trouble maintaining its title as the No. 1 film in the country. Hot off the heels of digital hits ”Shrek” and ”Monsters, Inc.,” the Fox hit, featuring the voices of Ray Romano and Denis Leary, is likely to see its business drop only about 30 percent in its second weekend, resulting in a $30 million gross and bringing its 10-day total past $80 million.
The much-hyped rerelease of ”E.T.,” meanwhile, will charm a new generation of fans with its spruced-up effects and new footage. Director Steven Spielberg and his cast (including Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas) have dutifully promoted the new edition, and nostalgia fans are waiting with bated, Reeses Pieces-tinged breath for its release. Look for ”E.T.” to bring in about $20 million over the three days. Though it won’t be No. 1, it will definitely accomplish something even more impressive — breaking the $400 million mark in domestic gross.
Another new entry, the Wesley Snipes sequel ”Blade 2,” also hits theaters this weekend, looking to match the $17.1 million opening of the first ”Blade,” which went on to earn a total of $70.1 million. Whereas most openings of sequels outgross their predecessors, this one might prove the exception to the rule (it lacks the buzz of a ”Star Wars” or ”Austin Powers” edition). Still, ”Blade” should still slice up about $15 million.
Rounding out the top five will be the second weekends of ”Resident Evil” and ”Showtime,” both of which should fall to about $9 million. Likely to be shut out of the top five? ”Sorority Boys,” this year’s obligatory silly Spring Break release, about three college guys who pretend to be women in order to get on-campus housing. Why shell out as much as 10 bucks at the movie theater if you can watch ”Bosom Buddies” reruns for free?
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