As, uh, Brittany Murphy in Clueless reminded us: Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. No statement rings truer this weekend, as two movies with completely opposite fan bases contend for No. 1 — last weekend’s big winner, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and the anticipated new release Sex and the City. Two movies, two distinct audiences. (Oh, and one common problem: Young people don’t care much about either. That sux.) Who’ll nab top prize? Check out my take on this battle of the sexes below, and then click on over to EW.com’s Summer Box Office Challenge to register your predictions, boys and girls.
THE (LIKELY) TOP FIVE
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Paramount/Lucasfilm · PG-13 · 4,264 theaters · 2nd weekend
So after all that hype, all that hoopla, Indy 4 wound up being big, but playing more or less like any big summer blockbuster does. To wit, it grossed a very Iron Man/Harry Potter 4/X-Men 3-esque $100.1 mil over its three-day opening weekend. So look for it to have a very Iron Man/Harry Potter 4/X-Men 3-esque 50 percent fall during its second frame — plus a little extra drop, considering that growing chorus of boos among people who’ve seen it. Which still should be enough for the fedora franchise flick to repeat as champ. (And by the way, I’ll be accepting props for nailing my prediction of Indy 4‘s four-day opening within a ridonkulous $82,627 from now until the end of time.)
Weekend prediction: $46 million
Sex and the City
Warner Bros./New Line · R · 3,285 theaters · NEW
Full disclosure: I’m not a big fan of Sex and the City. Sorry. Sue me. But hey, what a surprise: I’m a man! I know, I know, I’m stereotyping here. Not all box office savants are men. But still. The art of sweeping demographic generalizations was practically born at the box office, after all. Which brings us to this week’s major opener, the long-anticipated movie version of Sarah Jessica Parker & Co.’s hit HBO show. And by ”long-anticipated” I mean, ”excitedly awaited by thirtysomething women who live in New York and L.A.” Actually, come to think of it, just New York, really. Anyway, the folks behind SATC hope it’ll be the new The Devil Wears Prada, another distaff dramedy, which opened with $27.5 mil and totaled $124.7 mil two summers ago. Which makes sense, except that Prada had a hot young actress (Anne Hathaway), Meryl Streep, and a PG-13 rating — none of which SATC enjoy. And don’t get me started on SATC‘s bloated running time. Then again…I’m still optimistic! (And that has nothing to do with the fact that my fiancée will kill me if I keep pooping on SATC‘s box office prospects. Nothing at all.) Tremendous buzz has to count for something during the summer season, and, I mean, a movie that’s too long, too skewed toward one gender, too adult, and too filled with TV stars can still bow big. Right, Judd Apatow fans?
Weekend prediction: $34 million
Paramount/Marvel · PG-13 · 3,650 theaters · 5th weekend
Robert Downey Jr.’s Marvel movie keeps soaring higher, with more than $260 mil in the domestic bank so far. Will it wind up beating Indy 4 come summer’s end? We’ll have a pretty good idea by Sunday.
Weekend prediction: $13 million
Rogue · R · 2,467 theaters · NEW
An R-rated horror flick in the middle of the summer? Smart counterprogramming? We’ll see. This derivative-sounding movie, in which Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman play a couple brutalized on vacation, hasn’t drawn a Indy 4/Sex and the City kind of attention. But it should boast one thing those movies don’t have much of: strong interest from young people.
Weekend prediction: $11 million
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Walt Disney · PG · 3,801 theaters · 3rd weekend
First, the Narnia sequel had a disappointing debut. Then it declined a staggering 59 percent in its second frame. Even having cleared the $100 mil mark, its domestic track record so far is darned disappointing. Maybe moviegoers just aren’t that into it.
Weekend prediction: $10 million