''Sky Captain'' will soar. ''Wimbledon'' and ''Mr. 3000'' will have to settle for runner-up status

By Dave Karger
Updated September 17, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Jude Law, Angelina Jolie, ...
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The jaw-dropping special effects of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow should easily help the new retro-futuristic thriller claim the top spot at the box office this weekend.

Though the movie?s two lead roles are played by Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, ads for the film have focused on the action and the film?s third wheel, Angelina Jolie. (It makes sense, of course, since the Tomb Raider star still holds the record for the biggest opening weekend for a film starring a woman.) Expect Sky Captain to fly off with $25 million in its first three days.

Two sports-related films should open in second and third place. Bernie Mac plays a retired baseball player in Mr. 3000, while Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany are tennis pros who fall in love in Wimbledon. The two comedies should debut with $13 million and $10 million, respectively.

After opening with $23 million last weekend, Resident Evil: Apocalypse will take a big hit from Sky Captain and plummet to only about $9 million, while Kim Basinger?s thriller Cellular will lose half of its $10.1 million debut and gross another $5 million. In other words, she?s about out of minutes


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