Can ”The Return of the King” make it four in a row? After three weeks at the top the box office chart, the final ”Lord of the Rings” movie will shoot for four this weekend against some promising competition.
It’s been two years since any movie was able to hold the No. 1 spot for four weeks (big surprise: it was ”The Fellowship of the Ring”), but this ”King” could very well reign again considering how well it’s been playing since its huge debut last month. A 35 percent drop from last week’s $28.2 million gross would result in another $18 million for the blockbuster.
Second place could go to one of three films. Steve Martin’s hit comedy ”Cheaper by the Dozen” should see a 40 percent decline to about $13 million. Meanwhile, two new wide releases will challenge Martin and those 12 kids. After playing for a few weeks in limited release, Tim Burton’s whimsical drama ”Big Fish” opens wide, while pop singer Mandy Moore (she of that fantastic new CD of cover songs) premieres her new romance, ”Chasing Liberty,” in which she plays the president’s daughter. Both films should also earn around $13 million this weekend.
Fifth place may go to the new comedy ”My Baby’s Daddy,” in which Eddie Griffin, Michael Imperioli, and Anthony Anderson all deal with impending fatherhood. Though it’s only opening in around 1,000 theaters, it could score an $8 million debut. But returning successes ”Cold Mountain” and ”Something’s Gotta Give” could spoil that party with $7 or $8 million weekends.