Can ''X2'' earn $150 million by Sunday? You bet it can, with competition like Eddie Murphy's ''Daddy Day Care''

By Dave Karger
May 09, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

With ”The Matrix Reloaded” still a week away, those X-Men will easily enjoy another week at the top of the box office. But how much will they fall?

Last weekend, ”X2: X-Men United” stormed into theaters with an incredible $85.6 million debut, the fourth biggest opening of all time. But if the first ”X-Men” is any indication, ”X2” is in for a huge drop. Three years ago, the first film plummeted 57 percent in its second weekend. ”X2” could fall just as hard. But fan support for the sequel is greater than it was for the first, so perhaps a slightly smaller decline is in order. A drop of 52 percent would result in another $41 million, bringing ”X2”’s 10-day total around the $150 million mark.

The weekend’s only wide debut is the Eddie Murphy comedy ”Daddy Day Care,” in which he becomes a professional babysitter after losing his job as an advertising executive. With Murphy’s grown-up films flopping lately (need we mention ”The Adventures of Pluto Nash”?), he is wisely returning to the kiddie fare that’s been so successful for him in the last five years. His last family flick, ”Dr. Dolittle 2,” debuted with $25 million in 2001; expect ”Daddy” to bring home about $24 million.

The rest of the top five will feel mighty familiar: ”The Lizzie McGuire Movie” will likely see a 40 percent drop to $10 million, while ”Identity” and ”Anger Management” should rack up another $5 million each. But they can definitely feel Keanu and Co. breathing down their necks.