Despite opinions on Tom, moviegoers will go to ''War'': Forget the controversy surrounding Cruise -- a summer action flick from Spielberg will be irresistible to audiences, predicts Dave Karger
Tom Cruise, War of the Worlds
Credit: War of the Worlds: Frank Masi

Will War be good for Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg at the box office? We’ll soon find out, as their thriller War of the Worlds hits theaters over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Some industry watchers have speculated as to whether Cruise’s bizarre public behavior, overexposed romance with Katie Holmes, and controversial comments about psychiatry and Scientology may deter some audience members from seeing the film. But Cruise still remains a top box office draw, and any summer film from Spielberg is bound to have a big debut. Expect this War to reap spoils of $85 million over the four-day weekend, and close to $120 million since its Wednesday opening.

Batman Begins (featuring Holmes, incidentally) will likely claim second place with another $20 million, ahead of the weekend’s other new wide release, Rebound, a basketball comedy starring Martin Lawrence. The film is arriving with very little buzz, but Lawrence’s fan base should turn out to the tune about about $14 million.

Completing the top five will be Bewitched and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, with $12 million each. So could Hollywood finally break out of its box office slump? Considering last year’s No. 1 Fourth of July film, Spider-Man 2, grossed $115 million over the four-day period, it’ll be tough.

Batman Begins
  • Movie
  • 137 minutes