B.O. Forecast: ‘High’ or Horror?

A huge fall weekend is on tap — as the battle of good vs. evil begins.

First, we have the G-rated blockbuster that is High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which dances into over 3,400 theatres this weekend. Disney has had great success with family escapist fare this season and their Beverly Hills Chihuahua continues to prove that a little dogs’ bite is bigger than its bark.

High School Musical 3 should continue in that tradition with its enormous brand name recognition and the fact that audiences are looking for fun escapism at the movies. Not to mention the fact that musicals are a very “hot” genre of late with Hairspray (also starring HSM3’s Zac Efron) and more recently Universal’s Mamma Mia! singing their way up the box-office charts.

Then there’s Saw V. R-rated horror fans will have their yearly pre-Halloween event film they’ve come to know, love and expect with the fifth and latest installment in the hugely successful Saw franchise. With an average opening gross of $28.9 million, the Lionsgate juggernaut has proven to be one of the most successful franchises of all time, regardless of genre, and this weekend should prove to be another bloody good weekend for the series. Not a stretch to say that we should look for Saw VI to hit theatres in about a year from now.

Of course, if dancing, singing and, er, sawing isn’t enough, there is always the tried and true R-rated police drama. Warner is releasing the New Line film Pride & Glory, starring Edward Norton and Colin Farrell.

Also in limited release and notable due to its nearly certain Oscar attention, is Universal’s excellent true story Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie and directed by Clint Eastwood. The film has its first wide expansion on Oct. 31 and will begin building Oscar buzz from the moment it hits theaters. This is a must see film on everyone’s fall movie schedule.

Overall, this looks to be another terrific weekend that should easily give the industry its fifth consecutive “up” weekend at the box-office.

Hollywood.com users are making a prediction: 30 percent are saying they’ll go see the fun-filled G-rated High School Musical 3: Senior Year, while 25 percent (mostly young guys, we’re thinking) are opting for Saw V‘s blood and guts.

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