Denzel Washingston's dirty officer will prove more arresting than bank heisters Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton

By Dave Karger
October 12, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

After an impressive $22.6 million debut last weekend, expect Denzel Washington’s ”Training Day” to score the top spot for a second week in a row. The R-rated drama, starring Washington as a corrupt cop, has played extremely well with critics and audiences alike, and should decline less than most action films, which usually fall off 50 percent or so. ”Training Day” should only drop 35 or 40 percent and earn another $13-15 million this weekend.

The most promising of the week’s three wide releases is ”Bandits,” the bank-robber comedy starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett. With a super-wide opening (2,750 theaters) and a no-lose cast, it will try to challenge ”Training Day” for No. 1. But considering Willis’ non-”Die Hard” projects usually open in the low double digits at best — ”The Story of Us” could only manage $9.7 million — these bandits should escape with $11-13 million, enough for a second-place opening.

”Serendipity,” the New York-based romantic comedy starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale that opened with $13.3 million last weekend, will hold on nicely — thanks to its positive reviews and uplifting tone — to take the third spot, earning $7-9 million.

That leaves two other new entries to round out the top five. The latest ”Saturday Night Live” cast member to branch out on the big screen, Chris Kattan, stars in ”Corky Romano,” playing a meek veterinarian who infiltrates the FBI. The trailers look hysterical, but buzz on the film isn’t strong. Following in the funky footsteps of fellow ”SNL” alum Tim Meadows’ ”Ladies Man,” which opened with $5.4 million last year, ”Corky” should score $5-7 million for fourth place.

Close behind in fifth, look for the dubbed Asian martial-arts flick ”Iron Monkey,” which will gross $4-6 million in its debut weekend. Though ads for the film show off its fab fight sequences, diehard fans know it’s actually eight years old. In crouching tiger years, that’s a lifetime.

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