Dave Karger's online-only prediction: The new Harrison Ford thriller ''Firewall'' will fight off several competitors for the top spot

The box office chart will undergo a major makeover this weekend as four new wide releases hit multiplexes, including the latest entries from Harrison Ford, Steve Martin, and a cartoon monkey.

Firewall, a thriller starring Ford as a bank security expert kidnapped by a would-be robber (Paul Bettany), could mark the first time Ford has claimed the top spot since the summer of 2000, when What Lies Beneath premiered with almost $30 million. Since then he’s had two high-profile flops (K-19: The Widowmaker and Hollywood Homicide). But Firewall‘s action-packed plot should return him to the top with a $17 million debut.

Also opening this weekend is Final Destination 3, which hopes to top the $16 million gross of FD2 in 2003, but without any major stars to speak of, may have some trouble. Still, a $14 million debut seems likely. Then there’s Curious George, the screen adaptation of the popular kids’ books featuring the voices of Drew Barrymore and Will Ferrell. It won’t do as well as most Disney flicks, but expect a $12 million opening. And despite the highest theater count of all the new releases, Steve Martin’s remake of The Pink Panther (which Martin also cowrote) stands to place fourth, with about $11 million.

All the new competition means bad news for last weekend’s top film, When a Stranger Calls, which should see a 55 percent drop to $10 million in its second weekend.

Curious George
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