Tom Cruise's futuristic thriller should take No. 1. Directed by Steven Spielberg, ''Minority Report'' is likely to outlast kiddie faves ''Scooby-Doo'' and ''Lilo & Stitch''
Tom Cruise, Minority Report

When is a ”Minority” the majority? When it involves Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg.

The two movie-industry giants team up for the first time this weekend with the release of ”Minority Report,” a futuristic thriller that’s bound to dominate the box office in its first three days. The drama, in which Cruise plays a cop who arrests would-be criminals before they commit murders, seems to have overcome its dark tone and subject matter, peaking audiences’ interest and earning glowing reviews from many critics.

Cruise and Spielberg are both coming off projects that were relative disappointments in their careers: the actor’s ”Vanilla Sky” and the director’s ”A.I. Artificial Intelligence.” Still, those two did manage strong opening weekends of $25 million and $29.4 million, respectively. But this time, the combination of the two should be electric at the ticket counters. Look for ”Minority” to rack up about $40 million this weekend.

The film does have competition, however. Disney is releasing its newest animated flick, ”Lilo & Stitch,” which the studio promises has kids across the country in a tizzy. That had better be the case — over the last few years, traditional animation has found itself running a distant second to computer-animated hits like ”Shrek, ”Monsters, Inc.” and ”Ice Age.”

Disney’s last traditional cartoon, ”Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” didn’t even break $90 million total in domestic box office. Still, with its quick humor and lovably mischievous characters (not to mention an Elvis-heavy soundtrack), ”Lilo” could stitch up about $33 million.

That would put it in a close race for the No. 2 slot, as ”Scooby-Doo” returns for a second weekend after its fantastic $54.2 million debut. Though reviews were generally poor, family audiences still came out in huge numbers and are likely to do so again. But will ”Lilo” slice off too much of the kid contingent? It’ll be a tight one. If ”Scooby” were to fall 40 percent, it would also gross $33 million this weekend.

Last week’s second and third place finishers will probably round out the top five. New action hero Matt Damon should see a decline to $16 million with ”The Bourne Identity,” while old action hero Nicolas Cage will slip to about $9 million with ”Windtalkers.” At least he’s got a good chance of beating the drag basketball comedy ”Juwanna Mann.”

Lilo & Stitch
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