General News

Will Moviegoers 'Pay'?

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May 08, 2001 | 4:19am EDT

Moviegoers don't seem bedazzled by "Bedazzled" and probably won't pay enough for "Pay It Forward" to finish first. That should mean a third consecutive chart-topping weekend for "Meet the Parents."

The PG-13-rated comedy from Universal finished first last weekend with $21.2 million. It actually held even better than its modest 26% decline suggests. Its drop was measured against the previous Sunday, which was a stronger than normal Sunday since the next day was Columbus Day.

"The way that picture's holding up, if it drops another 25% -- and it may actually hold better than that -- it will still do $15 million," an insider speculates. "There won't be anything else that can do $15 million."

"Parents'" strength has been its appeal to a broad audience of younger Ben Stiller fans and older Robert De Niro fans.

Directed by Jay Roach, "Parents" stars De Niro and Stiller.

Buena Vista/Disney's PG-rated football theme drama "Remember the Titans" finished second last weekend with $13.1 million, a 32% decline.

"If it takes another 30% drop, it's still going to do $9 million," a distributor points out.

Directed by Boaz Yakin and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Oman, "Titans" stars Denzel Washington.

To finish second, however, "Titans" will have to outrun Warner Bros.' PG-13-rated drama "Pay It Forward," opening at 2,130 theaters. "Pay" has had two weekends of well-attended sneak previews to help get word of mouth going and could check in with $9-11 million.

Directed by Mimi Leder, "Pay It Forward" stars Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment.

20th Century Fox's PG-13-rated comedy "Bedazzled," opening at 2,567 theaters, could conjure up $8-10 million. At the low end of that range, it would probably place fourth, but at the high end it could be third.

Directed by Harold Ramis, "Bedazzled" stars Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley.

The weekend's other wide opening, the R-rated action adventure "The Legend of Drunken Master" from Miramax's Dimension Films label, is going into about 1,500 theaters. It's likely to finish fifth with $6-8 million.

Directed by Lau Ka Leung, it stars Jackie Chan.

Filling out lower rungs: "Lost Souls," "The Ladies Man," "The Contender," "The Exorcist" and "Best in Show."

On the expansion front, this weekend will see Universal continue its slow roll out of its critically-acclaimed, R-rated drama "Billy Elliot," the first title from the studio's new Universal Focus banner. "Billy" will widen from 10 theaters in six markets to about 38 theaters in 19 top markets.

Directed by Stephen Daldry, "Billy" stars Julie Walters, Gary Lewis, Jamie Bell, Jamie Draven and Adam Cooper.

New Line's R-ratedSpike Lee satire "Bamboozled" will begin expanding, going from 17 theaters to about 240 runs.

Written and directed by Spike Lee, "Bamboozled" stars Damon Wayans, Savion Glover and Jada Pinkett-Smith.

On the limited release front, Miramax's R-rated suspense drama "The Yards" will kick off in New York, L.A. and Chicago.

Directed by James Gray, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron and Jams Caan.

Miramax's documentary "Calle 54" opens in New York for a one week Oscar qualifying run.

Directed by Fernando Trueba, it stars Paquito D'Rivera and Tito Puente.

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