Muggles rejoice! After three weeks of ” Harry Potter” dominance, actual non-wizard people will reclaim the No. 1 position at the box office this weekend. The combined star power of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and Matt Damon should easily break the record for best December opening, now held by last year’s Mel Gibson romantic comedy, ” What Women Want,” which debuted with $33.6 million.
” Eleven,” about a group of bank robbers setting out to snag $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos, not only has hot actors, but also boasts strong buzz, ubiquitous PR and advertising, and a PG-13 rating. So while it might not match the $41.3 million opening gross of Clooney’s sea-worthy action drama ”The Perfect Storm,” it will still break away with around $35 million.
That will leave ” Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” somewhere it’s never been: second place. The blockbuster, which has already earned more than $220 million, should fall another 45 percent to $13 million on its way to the $350 million mark when all is said and done.
Last week’s strongest debut, ”Behind Enemy Lines,” which came fairly close to dethroning ”Harry Potter,” should drop about 40 percent, placing third with $11 million.
Rounding out the top five will be the Robert Redford/Brad Pitt CIA thriller ”Spy Game,” which will gross another $6 million (meaning Pitt will have two of the top five films), and the Disney hit ” Monsters, Inc.,” which will bring in another $4 or $5 million, crossing the $210 million mark. Suddenly, ”Shrek’s” $267 million take seems farther and farther away.
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