It’s Johnny Depp and Antonio Banderas vs. a bunch of vampires at the box office, as the new thriller ”Underworld” takes on ”Once Upon A Time in Mexico.”
Thanks to its ”Matrix”-style special effects, ”Underworld,” which stars Kate Beckinsale (”Pearl Harbor”) and Scott Speedman (”Felicity”), should appeal to teenage boys hungry for some action. The vampire flick will likely top the charts this weekend with about $15 million.
That would push ”Once Upon A Time in Mexico” to second place. A 45 percent drop from its $23.4 million debut would result in another $13 million for the quasi-sequel to ”Desperado.”
Cuba Gooding Jr. and R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles also hit multiplexes with ”The Fighting Temptations,” in which Gooding plays a New York ad exec who must direct a gospel choir in Georgia in order to collect on an inheritance. With all the heat on Knowles’ career, her fans should give in to ”Temptations” to the tune of $9 million.
Of the weekend’s new films, the widest opening belongs to ”Secondhand Lions,” starring Michael Caine and Robert Duvall as grumpy old men who take in teenager Haley Joel Osment. While no box office records will be broken, the family draw should manage an $8 million debut — good enough for the No. 4 spot. Meanwhile, the Nicolas Cage con job ”Matchstick Men” should fall to $8 million, rounding out the top five.
Two other new releases, the Dennis Quaid/Sharon Stone thriller ”Cold Creek Manor” and the Woody Allen comedy ”Anything Else,” starring Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci, will likely debut outside the top five with $7 million and $3 million, respectively. And watch out for Sofia Coppola’s ”Lost in Translation,” which could crack the top 10 this weekend despite playing in only 150 theaters. All hail Bill Murray!