Speed Racer‘s rapid journey to the box office junkyard may be bad news for Warner Bros., but it’s a relief for me. Why? Because I’m just about tapped out of car puns! I’m driving on fumes, running on empty, aching for a pit stop. Still, before we say goodbye to the Wachowski Brothers’ kandy-kolored kiddie flick, indulge me while I take a quick victory lap around the Internets: I totally called it, people! I knew Speed Racer was going to have serious engine trouble. Yippee for me!
Yep, you can’t accuse me of taking no pride in my work. And I’m going to get even prouder this weekend, when the only big new movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, conquers the box office, as I’m about to predict. Just how well will the fantasy sequel do? And how far will Speed Racer fall? Read on for my thoughts — and then pay a visit to EW.com’s Summer Box Office Challenge to play our fun prognostication game. Go on, folks. Put the pedal to the metal!
THE (LIKELY) TOP FIVE
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Walt Disney · PG · 3,929 theaters · NEW
Oodles of anticipation among families who have been waiting several years for their Pevensie fix? Check. An already-juiced box office thanks to Robert Downey Jr. and his big metal suit? Check. A general public that has weathered two long, arduous weeks since said previous blockbuster came out? Check. A slew of other pertinent rhetorical questions? Check. And mate. Oh yeah, the newest big-screen installment of C.S. Lewis’ classic fantasy series is gonna open huge. Maybe not Iron Man huge ($98.6 mil), but likely Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban huge ($93.7 mil). Why mention the third Harry Potter flick in this space? Because it was the first film in that strikingly similar family-friendly series to debut during the summer — and it scored the biggest Harry Potter bow at the time. Which seems to mirror the situation with Prince Caspian, a movie that follows a hit predecessor, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which grossed $65.6 mil when it premiered in December 2005. Of course, the way things have been going, Prince Caspian could wind up earning $110 mil. Or more. Either way, it’ll be the king of the multiplex. And I can’t wait to see what kind of SNL parody this movie is going to inspire.
Weekend prediction: $94 million
Paramount/Marvel · PG-13 · 4,154 theaters · 3rd weekend
Vacating the No. 1 spot will be sad for the big guy, no doubt. Then again, crossing the $200 mil mark in about 16 days (19th fastest of all time) should help ease his pain.
Weekend prediction: $27 million
What Happens in Vegas
Fox · PG-13 · 3,255 theaters · 2nd weekend
Although Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher’s comedy failed to hit the jackpot at the box office, it has been beating the odds — and Speed Racer — by hanging on strong during the week, earning around a million and a half bucks per day. Nevertheless, the film’s luck will have to improve if it’s going to catch up with the year’s top-grossing Sin City-themed movie, 21, which has banked about $81 mil to date.
Weekend prediction: $11 million
Warner Bros. · PG · 3,606 theaters · 2nd weekend
The cartoon adaptation has been struggling pretty much since it premiered — that’s been well documented. But now there’s a new roadblock ahead: Prince Caspian, which is sure to divert any remaining traffic from families in their minivans. Jeez — minivans? See? Told you I was getting low on the automobile allusions.
Weekend prediction: $7 million
Made of Honor
Columbia · PG-13 · 2,816 theaters · 3rd weekend
McDreamy’s latest box office foray hasn’t been a total McNightmare, but that $30 mil two-week total isn’t much to swoon over.
Weekend prediction: $5 million