Columbia's PG-13-rated action adventure comedy kicked off to a record setting $40.1 million last weekend. New Line's PG-13-rated youth appeal comedy "Little Nicky," opening at about 2,910 theaters, is flying high on the Hollywood radar screen.
"It probably will fall less than 50%," an insider predicts about "Angels." "Figure 40%. So you're looking at $24 million. It could be a tight race with 'Little Nicky.' I'd have to say $22-24 million for both of them."
20th Century Fox's R-rated Navy divers drama "Men of Honor," opening at 2,090 theaters, should also be making some big box office waves in third place.
"I think 'Men of Honor' is going to be right up there with $18 million," a distributor speculates.
The weekend's other wide arrival, Warner Bros.' PG-13-rated sci-fi adventure "Red Planet," is likely to be in a lower orbit despite opening at 2,703 theaters.
Moviegoers' interest in "Red Planet" is, an executive says, "very low except for older males, and they don't go out opening weekend. I would have to call 'Red Planet' $10 million -- if they're lucky."
Those same words are echoed by another studio source: "I think it's lucky to get to $10 million."
How will "Parents" hold up? "That's truly a hard call," replies an insider. "You can assume they're going to get hit by all these films, particularly by 'Men of Honor,' which seems to be more adult. 'Parents' has never dropped 25%, so let's assume it drops 25%. It would do about $9.5 million. It could be fourth or fifth, depending on what 'Red Planet' does."
DreamWorks' PG-13-rated drama "The Legend of Bagger Vance" opened in third place last weekend to an unexciting $11.5 million. A 30% drop would give it $8 million, but if it shows better legs and falls, say, 23%, it would do close to $9 million.
"'Bagger Vance' is probably $8-9 million," suggests a distributor, who adds there's not enough room for it to stay in the Top Five.
On this weekend's expansion front, Universal will continue to go wider with its R-rated, critically-acclaimed drama "Billy Elliot," expanding to 495 theaters in 100-plus top markets.
Paramount Classics' R-rated drama "You Can Count On Me" opens in limited release.
Earlier this week (Wednesday), Paramount re-issued its R-rated dark comedy "Wonder Boys" in about nine major markets. The studio hopes the well-reviewed film, which opened to disappointing business last February, will attract attention from Motion Picture Academy members. If the picture receives Oscar nominations, that could help it find its audience in a wider re-release.