Box Office News

B.O. FORECAST: 'Dinosaur' Stomps

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Do kids still like dinosaurs? Is Woody Allen still funny? Was Andy Dick ever funny? And will "Battlefield Earth" implode?

This weekend, all these questions will be answered.

"Dinosaur," Disney's computer-animated, kiddie-themed take on the "Jurassic Park" phenomenon, makes its long anticipated debut this week, posing the first serious threat to knock "Gladiator" (which, as of Tuesday, had raked in $79 million and counting) from the No. 1 position at the box office. It's got everything kids (especially little boys) want: dinosaurs, dinosaurs, more dinosaurs and even a few lemurs.

Meanwhile, Allen releases his latest, "Small Time Crooks," which actually promises to be funny -- unlike his past few movies. Then there's "Road Trip," this year's first candidate for a raunchy teen comedy hit a la "American Pie."

Here's a rundown of this weekend's new releases:

"DINOSAUR" (See the trailer) The skinny: It's "Tarzan," but with a twist. An orphaned Iguanadon is raised by lemurs (a monkey-like primate), and he's treated by all the other dinosaurs as an outcast. The upside: The dinosaurs are cute 'n' cuddly, unlike those carnivorous critters in "Jurassic Park." The downside: Kids can't be fooled: Everyone knows there were no lemurs during the Age of Dinosaurs!

"ROAD TRIP" (See the trailer) The skinny: One of those wacky comedies about college students. In this one, some guy (Breckin Meyer) drags his buddies along on a 2,000 mile trek from upstate New York to Austin, where he's reunited with his girlfriend (Amy Smart). Of course, hijinx ensue along the way. Also stars up-and-coming funnymen Tom Green and Andy Dick. The upside: There's nothing quite like a good road movie. The downside: Then again, there's "Kalifornia."

"SMALL TIME CROOKS" (See the trailer) The skinny: Woody Allen revisits his roots (e.g. his directorial debut, "Take the Money and Run") in this screwball comedy about a bumbling bank robber. The upside: If it's anywhere near as funny as "Take the Money …" this could be Allen's best film in years. The downside: "Manhattan Murder Mystery" aside, Allen hasn't made a funny movie in a long time. Fact is, we sort of think he forgot what's funny (hint: Movies where 60-something Woody romances Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis and Elizabeth Shue are generally not funny). Elsewhere, "U-571," "Where the Heart Is," "Frequency," "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas," "Screwed," "Center Stage" and "Keeping the Faith" all will try to avoid being bumped out of the Top 10.

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