HOLLYWOOD, May 25, 2000 – No matter what the movie, Tom Cruise almost always plays the best. The best race car driver, the best pool player, the best sports agent, the best philandering doctor.
Now, he may be the best in real life, too. Box-office watchers say "M:I-2" stands a good chance of making this Memorial Day weekend the best ever at the box office.
"The overall box office this Memorial Day weekend could be the biggest in history," Gitesh Pandya, editor of Boxofficeguru.com, tells Hollywood.com. "Between 'M:I-2' and 'Dinosaur,' the top two movies alone, people might end up spending over $100 million just to see those two movies. That's how strong the marketplace is right now."
Summer may still be a few weeks away for the weatherman, but Memorial Day weekend is when it starts at the box office. Kids are getting out of school. Ticket prices are higher than ever. And some of the most highly anticipated movies of the year are out right now. Ka-ching.
Here's a quick rundown of this weekend's major new releases:
"M:I-2" M:I-2 The Skinny: Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, the head of the "Mission Impossible" team, but this time he acts more like James Bond as he tries to stop terrorists from unleashing a deadly bilogical weapon. The Upside: Pandya says it could easily make $60 or $70 million over the four-day (Friday through Monday) weekend, and it may even make upward of $90 million during its six-day (Wednesday through Monday) opening frame. "It's got a great star, it's got a great director, it's got great music, and it just looks cool," he says. The Downside: What's with Tom Cruise's hair?
"Shanghai Noon" SHANGHAI NOON The Skinny: Jackie Chan does a western, so you know what to expect: Lots of fast-paced fights and incredible stunts, with some gunfights and saloon brawls thrown in for good measure. The Upside: How can you not like Jackie Chan? He's always the good guy, and he always smiles (and kicks ass) in the face of adversity. Owen Wilson's funny, too. The Downside: Remember "Blazing Saddles?"
Elsewhere this weekend, other recent Top 10 contenders will vie for holiday moviegoers' money, including "Gladiator," "Road Trip," "U-571" and "Frequency," all of which are holding steady. Also, several new films open in limited release including "Better Living Through Circuitry," a documentary about Rave music, with a guest appearance by Natalie Portman.