Can ''Firefly'' fans make ''Serenity'' No. 1? Joss Whedon's movie, based on his canceled TV show about a ragtag spaceship crew, hits theaters this weekend -- and will likely make enough dough for No. 1

By Dave Karger
September 30, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

How much money can a cult following buy? We’ll find out this weekend as Serenity, the new film based on the 2002 TV series Firefly, hits theaters.

While many people probably haven’t heard of either, fans of creator Joss Whedon will flock to multiplexes this weekend, resulting in a debut around $17 million.

Last week’s top film, Flightplan, should see a 45 percent drop to $14 million, while the long-delayed underwater action film Into the Blue, starring Jessica Alba and Paul Walker, is likely to premiere in third place with $13 million.

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s animated Corpse Bride will add another $11 million to its tally, while the critically acclaimed David Cronenberg drama A History of Violence, starring Viggo Mortensen, will gross around $8 million as it expands from 14 theaters to 1,200.