Just how big of a disaster will ”Gigli” be at the box office this weekend? We’ll get to that in a minute. But first, there’s another film opening this week that audiences actually seem to care about, and that’s ”American Wedding,” the third and presumably final chapter in the successful ”American Pie” series. ”American Pie 2” grossed a huge $45.1 million when it opened in August 2001. With the cast working overtime to promote the raunch-filled comedy, the final slice should serve up a $35 million debut for the No. 1 spot.
Second place will likely go to another third film in a franchise, last weekend’s surprise No. 1, ”Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.” Since family films usually see smaller declines from week to week, ”Spy Kids” should dip a moderate 40 percent to about $20 million.
Likewise, the critical hit ”Seabiscuit” may drop only 30 percent from its $20.9 million debut to about $15 million ? good enough to show. Meanwhile, the smash ”Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” will continue its strong run with another $14 million or so, bringing its total past the $200 million mark.
As for which film will fill out the top five, it could go one of two ways. Perhaps ”Gigli,” the critically reviled drama starring real-life loves Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, could muscle its way in. But even though the ”Dateline NBC” special featuring the pair drew high ratings, that hasn’t seemed to translate into interest in the film. Both ”Gigli” and ”Bad Boys II,” which is in its third week, stand to gross $10 million this weekend. Should Ben & Jen fail to make the top five, the couple, who’ve also filmed the comedy ”Jersey Girl” together, will probably make that professional collaboration their last.