Jet Li's ''Hero'' will prevail. The martial-arts epic will be only the second foreign-language film to top the box office this year

By Dave Karger
Updated August 27, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

Can Jet Li’s ”Hero” become the second foreign-language film to top the box office chart this year? It could happen. ”The Passion of the Christ” proved that you don’t have to speak English to claim the No. 1 spot. Now, ”Hero,” starring Jet Li and ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” breakout Zhang Ziyi, could bring in enough action fans to emerge victorious. It may be a close race against that ”Anaconda” sequel, but ”Hero” could fight its way to the top with $15 million.

Meanwhile, ”Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid,” may not boast ”Anaconda” stars Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube, but it is a recognizable title that should spawn a $12 million debut.

Last week’s No. 1 film, ”Exorcist: The Beginning,” will slip considerably from its $18.1 million opening to about $8 million, while ”Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” and ”Without a Paddle” will duke it out with the new Aaron Eckhart-Ben Kingsley thriller ”Suspect Zero,” all of which should gross around $7 million.

The week’s other new wide release is the sequel ”Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2,” costarring, of all people, Jon Voight (who also appeared in the original ”Anaconda”!). But a general lack of interest means it’ll likely open outside the top five with about $6 million. Couldn’t he have finagled himself a part in ”Anacondas” instead?

Without a Paddle

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 99 minutes
  • Steven Brill