Box Office Preview

Earning Her Wings

Another ''Heaven''-ly opening for Reese? Witherspoon's ''Just Like Heaven'' will top the box office -- but it's no ''Sweet Home Alabama,'' says Dave Karger

Mark Ruffalo, Reese Witherspoon, ... | REESE'S LATEST PIECE Witherspoon and Ruffalo will knock out the competition with ''Just Like Heaven''
Image credit: Just Like Heaven: Peter Iovino
REESE'S LATEST PIECE Witherspoon and Ruffalo will knock out the competition with ''Just Like Heaven''

Still having nightmares after seeing The Exorcism of Emily Rose? Well, you'll be happy to know the big ticket at the box office this weekend will be the frothy romantic comedy Just Like Heaven.

Heaven, a supernatural love story starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo, will easily attract women and the men who endure chick flicks with them. And after films like Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama (which holds the record for best-ever September opening, with over $35 million), Witherspoon has proven herself a box office draw. Expect a No. 1 opening in the $24 million range.

Emily Rose, meanwhile, will slip just over 50 percent from its $30.1 million debut to $14 million, meaning it'll battle for second place with the new Nicolas Cage action drama Lord of War. Costarring Ethan Hawke, the R-rated arms-dealer tale should open with about $12 million.

Rounding out the top five will be The 40 Year-Old Virgin and the new teen thriller Cry Wolf (directed by newcomer Jeff Wadlow, also known as Katie Couric's nephew). Both films should gross about $5 million this weekend.

Originally posted Sep 15, 2005