Box Office Preview

'Lord' Almighty

''Two Towers'' should top $260 million this weekend. Expect ''Lord of the Rings'' part 2 to keep its lead over both Leo DiCaprio films

Christopher Lee, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers | 'TWO' TIMER The ''Rings'' sequel continues to climb its way up the all-time top grossers list
Image credit: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers: Pierre Vinet
'TWO' TIMER The ''Rings'' sequel continues to climb its way up the all-time top grossers list

With no super-wide releases hitting theaters, the first box-office weekend of 2003 will look a lot like the last one of 2002.

After earning more than $230 million in its first 15 days, ''The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers'' will continue its climb up the all-time top grossers list. (It's just cracked the top 30.) Look for ''Towers'' to slip 40 percent from last weekend's $48.9 million to about $29 million for the No. 1 spot this weekend.

Steven Spielberg's ''Catch Me If You Can'' will trail behind. A 30 percent slide to $20 million this weekend will bring the total of the caper starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks to more than $90 million. And the Sandra Bullock/Hugh Grant romantic comedy should score another week at No. 3 with $9 million.

Three films will battle for the two remaining slots in the top five. Both ''Gangs of New York'' (also starring DiCaprio, along with Daniel Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz) and Jennifer Lopez's ''Maid in Manhattan'' stand to fall to about $8 million. And the critically-acclaimed Jack Nicholson dark comedy ''About Schmidt,'' which expands to about 700 theaters this weekend, could also gross $8 million. We'll see if all that Oscar buzz will translate into big bucks.

Originally posted Jan 02, 2003

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