HOLLYWOOD, Oct 26, 2000 - Look for "Blair Witch 2" to do killer business this Halloween weekend.
Artisan Entertainment's R-rated sequel "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2," opening at about 3,000 theaters, should scare up enough ticket sales to end "Meet the Parents'" three week reign in first place.
"'Blair Witch' is going to play very young," explains an insider. "They ought to be able to open to $20 million." The original "Blair Witch Project," last summer's sleeper blockbuster, was made independently for about $35,000 and picked up by Artisan. It grossed about $140.5 million in domestic theaters.
Universal's PG-13-rated comedy "Meet the Parents" should slide one slot to second place in its fourth week after finishing first with $16 million last weekend.
"'Meet the Parents' dropped 24% last weekend," a distributor says. "If they drop that way again this weekend, they'll do $12-13 million."
Directed by Jay Roach, "Parents" stars Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. There could be a close race for third place between Paramount's opening of its R-rated romantic comedy "Lucky Numbers" at about 2,500 theaters and 20th Century Fox's second weekend of its PG-13-rated comedy "Bedazzled."
"Bedazzled" opened in second place to a better-than-anticipated $13.1 million. "Let's say they're down 35%," a studio source speculates. "That puts them at $8 million. 'Lucky Numbers' could do $8-10 million."
Another battle is shaping up for fifth place between Buena Vista/Disney's PG-rated football theme drama "Remember the Titans," which finished third last weekend with $9.9 million, and Warner Bros.' PG-13-rated drama "Pay It Forward," which kicked off to $9.6 million in fourth place.
"'Titans' was only down 24%. Let's say it drops another 24% and does $7.5 million," an insider speculates. "'Pay It Forward' will be doing good if it's down 23% or 24%. That's going to put both of them at around $7.5 million."
The weekend's other wide release, New Line Cinema's PG-rated family film "The Little Vampire," probably won't sink its fangs into the Top Five, although it's opening at about 2,000 theaters.
"I would look for 'Little Vampire' to be somewhere in the low single digits," predicts an insider.
On the expansion front, Fox Searchlight Pictures will start going wider with its R-rated drama "Bootmen."
Also expanding is Miramax's R-rated drama "The Yards."
In limited release activity, Buena Vista's reissue of its 1993 PG-rated animated family film "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" will open at 72 theaters in select cities.
Lions Gate's R-rated drama "Once in the Life" opens in New York, L.A. and Chicago.
Lions Gate's R-rated dark comedy "Stardom" goes into limited release.
USA Films' R-rated dark comedy "A Room For Romeo Brass" opens exclusively in New York and L.A.