B.O. FORECAST: Hanks Dodges ‘Traffic’

Looks like it’s going to be another Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball kind of box office weekend.

And not even the nationwide expansion of Steven Soderbergh‘s super-hyped, Golden Globe-nominated flick “Traffic” could change that reality.

Even though the ensemble drug-trafficking film raked in a per-screen average of more than $62,000 over the four-day weekend (and was shown on only four screens at that), boxofficemojo.com editor Brandon Gray believed that its wide expansion still won’t be enough to thwart the dominance of “Cast Away” this weekend.

“[The “Traffic” per-screen take] is a rather trumped-up statistic. Obviously, if “Cast Away” were to open on four screens, it would have made over $100,000 per screen. So saying that about “Traffic” really doesn’t mean anything,” Gray told Hollywood.com.

“But the film obviously sold well. It’s a big Hollywood production with big Hollywood stars. It had a solid opening, but that was expected. I am surprised that it didn’t do better, actually.”

For the second weekend in a row, no new major releases are bowing in the theaters. And that, Gray said, could mean that little will move within the Top 5 except for “Traffic” — which he projected to take over the fourth slot.

And if everything follows Gray’s predictions, here’s how the box office should play out this weekend.

Cast Away” — $20 million

“What Women Want” — $13 million

Miss Congeniality” — $10 million

“Traffic” — $9 million

The Family Man” — $8 million