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Rob's Box Office Predictions Page

For the weekend of June 26-28, 1998

There are two new big releases for this weekend. Universal gives us an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, Out of Sight. It stars George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, and Don Cheadle. It was directed by Steven Soderbergh, the writer/director of the acclaimed sex, lies, and videotape. The other new release is Fox's family comedy Dr. Dolittle starring Eddie Murphy. Let's get started, shall we?

First off, let's examine Out of Sight. As noted above, the film carries some good starpower. While Clooney and Lopez certainly aren't Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts, they both have a solid fan base that leads to decent openings for their films. Some of Clooney's recent work includes Batman and Robin(42.9 million opening/ 107 million dollar finish), The Peacemaker(12.3/41.1), One Fine Day(6.2/46.1), and From Dusk Till Dawn(10.2/25.1). Lopez also knows can bring in the fans. Her recent films include Anaconda(16.6/65.5), Selena(11.6/35.4), and U-Turn (2.7/6.6). Ving Rhames and Don Cheadle are also recognizable faces who are audience favorites. Elmore Leonard novel adaptations have performed great or at least decently. Two of the more notable ones are Jackie Brown(9.3/39.7) and Get Shorty(12.7/72). As is shown, many of Clooney's and Lopez's movies open well and then play off fairly quickly. Look for Out of Sight to continue this trend. I look for it to preform similarly to last year's Breakdown and have a 12 million dollar opening, followed by a 50-55 million dollar finish.

The other new release is Eddie Murphy's comedy Dr. Dolittle, a remake of an older film of the same name. Murphy stars as John Dolittle, a doctor who finds he can talk to animals. The animals are voiced by many popular comedians, Chris Rock among them. This film's big competitor will be Disney's Mulan which opened well and has been performing wonderfully. Murphy had a hit family comedy two years ago in The Nutty Professor which opened to 25.4 million and ended up with over 120 million in receipts. While I doubt Dr. Dolittle will reach the heights of Professor, it will still perform very well. Families and fans of Murphy will be out this weekend and boost Dr. Dolittle to an 18 million dollar opening.

Last weekend's number one film, The X-Files shows signs of massive erosion. Most of the core fans turned out last weekend for the film's premiere weekend. Despite decent reviews, there will be a much smaller potential audience for this film than most other ones in their second frame. There will be only so many people who want to see this movie. In fact, Mulan has been performing better during this week. The average depreciation for a film in the second weekend is 30-35 percent, but look for The X-Files to fall much more sharply. I think a 45 percent fall and 16.5 million is in order for The X-Files.

Speaking of Mulan the Chinese warrior princess also goes into her second round with moviegoers this weekend. As was mentioned above, Mulan has had an outstanding performance thus far this week. Combine that with stupendous reviews and word of mouth, and it will add up to a smaller than normal drop for Mulan. Normally, I'd say just a 25 percent drop, but Dr. Dolittle may lure away some potential audience, so I'm going to go with 30 percent and 16 million.

Six Days, Seven Nights edged by 35 percent last weekend, normal for a film, and should do so again this weekend. That would mean another 7 million to add to its cume. A Perfect Murder has also been consistently eroding by 35 percent. Look for a similar performance this weekend as it sucks up another 5 million in cash.

Now, the rest of the pack. The Truman Show should edge by 35 percent, giving it another 8 million in its fourth try with moviegoers. Can't Hardly Wait which was given a staggering 52 percent blow last weekend will again edge by 50 percent as it should collect about 2 million over the weekend. Hope Floats should drop about 40 percent, giving it slightly over 2 million in this frame. Robert Redford's romantic drama The Horse Whisperer should round itself up just under 1.5 million in torn ticket stubs. Battling Whisperer for tenth will be Deep Impact as it will most likely collect a similar amount.

Dropping out of the top ten will be either Deep Impact or The Horse Whisperer and the giant lizard Godzilla.

That's it for this week. Tune in June 30th for the completion of my 100 million dollar movie list and my forecasts for Armageddon. and the other movies over the July 4th weekend. As always, thanks for reading.

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