Box Office Preview

De-fense!

Dave Karger's prediction: The football flick ''Invincible,'' last week's No. 1 movie, will make a goal-line stand against debuting thriller ''Crank'' over the sluggish Labor Day weekend

Greg Kinnear, Invincible (Movie - 2006) | 'CRANK' YANKERS It figures to be close, but coach Vermeil (Kinnear), his Eagles, and Invincible figure to hang on for another weekend of box-office glory
'CRANK' YANKERS It figures to be close, but coach Vermeil (Kinnear), his Eagles, and Invincible figure to hang on for another weekend of box-office glory

You'd think that as one of summer's biggest holiday weekends, Labor Day would be huge for movies. But you'd be wrong: Studios rarely open their biggest movies over Labor Day — why debut at the end of the summer? — which leads to a usually slow four days at the box office.

Last year's top Labor Day film was The Transporter 2, which grossed an atypically high $20.2 million. Its star, Jason Statham, returns this weekend with his new action film, Crank. Can he match Transporter 2's take? Given Crank's R rating and smaller theater count, probably not. It'll duke it out with last week's chart-topper, the Mark Wahlberg football drama Invincible, for the top spot. Who will emerge victorious? My guess is Invincible. Final score: $14 million to $13 million.

Third place will likely go again to the fabulous Little Miss Sunshine, which will add another $9 million. Two other new entries should complete the top five: Nicolas Cage stars in the buzz-free thriller The Wicker Man (which does boast director Neil LaBute), while the basketball drama Crossover will attempt to capitalize on its start-of-the-school-year timing. Wicker Man should debut with $8 million, followed by Crossover, with $6 million.

Originally posted Aug 31, 2006
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