Will Eminem's ''8 Mile'' break box office records? The rapper may equal J. Lo with a No. 1 movie and album in the same week, but he won't likely earn the biggest R-rated opening ever
Eminem, 8 Mile
Credit: 8 Mile: Eli Reed

Will Enimem beat out all his box office competition by a mile this weekend? Try eight miles.

The rap star’s first major film project, ”8 Mile,” which hits theaters just days after its soundtrack topped the Billboard album chart, could make him the first performer to claim the No. 1 movie and music slots since Jennifer Lopez achieved that feat last year.

Anticipation for ”8 Mile,” in which Eminem plays an aspiring rapper with a troubled home life, is through the roof among both men and women. And advance critical response has been mostly strong. So how big will the R-rated ”8 Mile” be? The record for an R-rated opening is held by last year’s ”Hannibal,” which grossed a mammoth $58 million. Don’t expect that figure to be broken, but ”8 Mile” could kick off with as much as $40 million.

That will certainly push last week’s top film, ”The Santa Clause 2,” to second place. The Tim Allen sequel stands to slip 30 percent from its $29 million debut to about $20 million.

Meanwhile, the horror thriller ”The Ring” has been exhibiting week-to-week drops that would make ”My Big Fat Greek Wedding” jealous. The Naomi Watts film could fall just 20 percent to $14 million and third place.

Two comedies should round out the top five. Last week’s disappointing debut ”I Spy,” starring Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson, stands to drop 45 percent to about $7 million, while ”Jackass the Movie” will likely plummet 50 percent to $6 million.

Still, they should each outgross the week’s other national release, the Rebecca Romijn-Stamos thriller ”Femme Fatale,” which has amassed some of the worst reviews of the year. This femme fatale is going to be DOA.

8 Mile
  • Movie
  • R
  • 111 minutes
  • Curtis Hanson