Box Office Preview

Can 'Zack' Beat Zac?

Kevin Smith's ''Zack and Miri Make a Porno'' will try to take down Zac Efron's ''High School Musical 3'' at the box office this weekend

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR Will Zac Efron continue to woo Vanessa Hudgens -- and moviegoers -- at the box office this weekend?
Image credit: John Bramley
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR Will Zac Efron continue to woo Vanessa Hudgens -- and moviegoers -- at the box office this weekend?

Why, happy Halloween, everyone! Here's some scary news for the two big new movies bowing this weekend: They won't win. Not up against the High School Musical 3 juggernaut. Still, there's a chance of some box office success, especially for Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which costars the ever-popular Seth Rogen. As for The Haunting of Molly Hartley, well, I see more tricks than treats in its future.

But that's just what my crystal jack-o'-lantern is telling me. What do you think? Check out EW.com's Fall Box Office Challenge to make your own picks for the weekend, dear goblins.

THE (LIKELY) TOP FIVE

High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Walt Disney · G · 3,626 theaters · 2nd weekend
That $42 million opening last weekend was pretty awesome, indeed. And there's no reason it should slow down much — I mean, what family would flock to Zack and Miri Make a Porno? Don't answer that.
Weekend prediction: $24 million

Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Weinstein · R · 2,735 theaters · NEW
Seth Rogen is white-hot at the box office these days, with his past three big releases (Pineapple Express, Superbad, and Knocked Up) all debuting north of $20 mil. Now, cynically speaking, we all know that a backlash is inevitable. The question is, will this movie (in which Rogen and Elizabeth Banks play lifelong friends who enter the adult-film business) be his Cable Guy/Little Nicky/Bewitched/Love Guru? It's certainly possible — perhaps even likely, considering the fact that marketing this movie has been a bit of a challenge because some outlets object to one word in its title. Gosh, who knew so many people could be offended by the term ''make''?
Weekend prediction: $11 million

Changeling
Universal · R · 1,850 theaters · 2nd weekend
Clint Eastwood's latest period thriller stars Angelina Jolie as a single mother in 1920s Los Angeles whose son is abducted. Buoyed by decent reviews, the film opened last weekend to a terrific $32,601 average in 15 theaters. So it should do really well when it expands to 1,850 venues this time around, right? Well, yeah, probably. Although I'm still unsure of Angelina Jolie's drawing power. While last summer's $134.3 mil-grossing shoot-'em-up Wanted certainly dispelled the notion that she had lost her bankability, the Oscar winner has yet to anchor a hit drama.
Weekend prediction: $11 million

Saw V
Lionsgate · R · 3,084 theaters · 2nd weekend
Halloween, schmalloween. This fright flick may have banked $30.1 mil last weekend, but the Saw movies always drop big time during their second frames.
Weekend prediction: $10 million

The Haunting of Molly Hartley
Freestyle · PG-13 · 2,652 theaters · NEW
You knew somebody was going to release a horror movie on Halloween. Well, boo to that, because this one has almost no shot of scaring up substantial business — not with a no-name cast and low buzz. Besides, by Saturday, when everyone's in a candy coma, its time will have passed.
Weekend prediction: $6 million

Originally posted Oct 30, 2008
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