It’s Denzel Washington vs. Jennifer Garner in one of the quietest box office weekends of the year.
Washington premieres his latest drama, ”Man on Fire,” while TV fave Garner carries her first feature film, ”13 Going on 30.” With a kid-friendly PG-13 rating, ”13,” a 21st-century riff on the Tom Hanks comedy ”Big,” should be the teenage-girl thing to do this weekend, resulting in a debut of around $21 million.
In ”Man on Fire,” meanwhile, Washington plays a bodyguard trying to rescue a kidnapped girl (”Cat in the Hat”’s Dakota Fanning). It has a two-hour-plus running time, an R rating, and a much darker plot than ”13,” which could mean a No. 2 finish. Expect ”Fire” to burn up about $15 million.
Last week’s No. 1 debut, ”Kill Bill – Vol. 2,” will see a 45 percent decline to $14 million, while ”The Punisher” and ”Johnson Family Vacation” will round out the top five with $7 million and $4 million, respectively. Paging Van Helsing: The movie biz needs you… pronto!