Let’s see: Mummies couldn’t do it, Will Ferrell wasn’t equal to the task, and TV’s conspiracy hunters fell flat on their X-faces. So who will finally dethrone the Caped Crusader from high on the box-office hill? Stoners, that’s who. Seth Rogen and James Franco, the pot achievers of Pineapple Express, will do the impossible: keep The Dark Knight from stealing another box-office victory.
Not that anyone will be crying in their Bat-beer: The Dark Knight has crested the $400 million mark. And even though it’ll never overtake Titanic‘s best-ever $600 million domestic gross — Mark Harris nimbly breaks down why — Knight only need keep its Dark-side mojo going for another $60-odd million to take out Star Wars and swipe the No. 2 spot. (Next on the hit-list, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, at $423 mil.) But, to the matters at hand. Read on for my predictions, then click over to the EW.com’s Summer Box Office Challenge to register your picks.
THE (LIKELY) TOP FIVE
Sony/Columbia · R · 3,072 theaters · NEW
Heck, it’s already doing gangbuster business, having swallowed up $12.5 million on its Wednesday premiere and smoking right past the previous record-holder, The Princess Diaries 2. At some point, audiences are gonna feel some Seth Rogen fatigue?but not now.
Weekend prediction: $43 million
The Dark Knight
Warner Bros. · PG-13 · 4,025 theaters · 4th week
Repeat business can only do so much for Christopher Nolan‘s sequel — so now is when we’ll see people’s parents show up to see what all the hubbub’s about.
Weekend prediction: $36 million
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
Warner Bros. · PG · 2,707 theaters · NEW
While one can say that no one likes pants in the summer — skorts are in! — this America Ferrara sequel should do just fine with the tween set, especially now that Ms. Ferrara has Ugly Betty in her corner. And given that the original grossed a respectable-but-not-incredible $39 million domestically, everyone involved should be thrilled with?
Weekend prediction: $23 million
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Universal · PG-13 · 3,780 theaters · 2nd week
Given that reviews have been horrible pretty much across the board, and it opened at almost $28 million lower than The Mummy Returns, and marginal action flicks can plummet up to 60 percent in their second week, Dragon will be lucky to limp over the $100 million mark, given its flagging momentum.
Weekend prediction: $19 million
Universal · PG · 3,194 theaters · 4th week
Keep on singing, Meryl!
Weekend prediction: $10 million