The Rock will win again -- until Spidey arrives. ''The Scorpion King'' should enjoy its second week at No. 1, because next week a superior foe enters the battle

By Dave Karger
Updated April 26, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Scorpion King: Bruce Bermelin

Changing Lanes

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Welcome to the calm before the storm. With only a week to go before the debut of the highly anticipated ”Spider-Man” (the de facto start of the summer movie season), Hollywood is essentially sitting this weekend out, releasing only two high-profile wide entries, neither of which will offer ”The Scorpion King” much competition.

With nothing to challenge his box-office throne, ”King” star Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson will have no trouble maintaining his reign atop the charts, even as his ”Mummy” prequel is likely to see a substantial decline in its second weekend. After its $36.1 million opening, a 45 percent drop to $20 million seems in order.

Oscar winner Angelina Jolie follows up last year’s hit ”Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” with the decidedly smaller film ”Life or Something Like It,” a romance in which she plays a TV journalist told she may have just one week to live. The comedy, costarring Edward Burns, has received some negative early reviews (including a D grade from EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum) and is suffering from a noticeable lack of buzz. But with few other romances out right now, ”Life” could manage an $8 million debut for second place.

Two star-driven dramas should each slip a notch from last week. Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson’s ”Changing Lanes” should see a 40 percent drop in its third weekend to $7 million, while Sandra Bullock’s underperforming thriller will also fall 40 percent to $6 million.

The week’s other wide debut, ”Jason X,” should round out the top five. The gorefest, the tenth in the ”Friday the 13th” series, boasts no name stars (Jason doesn’t count) and nothing that would seem to appeal to anyone other than hardcore horror fans. Considering the last ”Friday” film, 1993’s ”Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday” (how’s that for a misnomer?), only grossed $15.9 million total, ”X” will be lucky to scare up $5 million this weekend. Sounds like Jason needs a new agent.

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Changing Lanes

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