"Gone In 60 Seconds" should have no trouble finding first place parking this weekend.
With a first-choice tracking of 27%, the PG-13-rated action thriller from Buena Vista/Touchstone is on track to steal $30-35 million at 3,006 theaters. Insiders point out that if it opens as well as "The Rock" - $25.1 million at 2,392 theaters June 7-9, 1996 ($10,481 per theater) - it would gross $31.5 million.
Who most wants to go to "Gone?" "It's very much young male," an insider says of the film's appeal. "The overall definite interest is 55%, but for young males (under 25) it's 69% and it's 46% for older men (over 25). It's 57% for young women and 48% for older women."
Look for "Gone" to drive Paramount's "Mission: Impossible-2" down one ramp to second place in its third week. The PG-13 blockbuster action adventure sequel's 19% first-choice tracking suggests "M:I-2" should continue to show good box office legs and gross about $17 million.
Expect 20th Century Fox's PG-13 comedy "Big Momma's House" to slip one peg to third place in its second week.
Here, too, continued strength is likely given its 18% first-choice tracking. It should do about $15 million this weekend.
Buena Vista/Disney PG computer animated feature "Dinosaur" should wind up grazing in fourth place, down one notch in its fourth week, with about $8 million.
DreamWorks' R-rated action adventure hit "Gladiator," which has been showing very good legs, has a good shot at holding on to fifth place in its sixth week. The film is half owned by Universal, which is releasing it internationally.
Buena Vista/Touchstone and Spyglass Entertainment's PG-13 action comedy "Shanghai Noon" could fall two rungs to sixth place in its third week.
"I think 'Shanghai Noon' gets hurt by 'Gone in 60 Seconds,'" an insider speculates. "I think 'Gladiator' has better staying power."
Filling out lower rungs this weekend: "Road Trip," "Frequency," "U-571" and "Center Stage."
On the limited release front: Miramax's PG-rated romantic musical comedy "Love's Labour's Lost" opens in New York and Los Angeles. Set in 1939, the Kenneth Branagh film marries Shakespeare's text to show-stopping songs by composers like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin.
Sony Pictures Classics' R-rated drama about a San Francisco rave party, "Groove," arrives in New York and San Francisco.
Directed by Greg Harrison, it stars Lola Glaudini.
Paramount Classics' R-rated drama about a Hungarian Jewish family's rise and fall, "Sunshine," opens in New York and Los Angeles.
Looking ahead, Paramount's R-rated urban appeal action drama "Shaft," opening June 16 at 2,000-plus theaters, is already shaping up as a likely hit with a 9% overall first-choice tracking. "It's a 31% first choice for African Americans," a studio executive notes. "That's what you look at. You're looking at $25 million for an opening, just like 'Big Momma's House.'"