Box Office Preview

'Shanghai' Surprise

Guys battle gals in new movies this weekend -- Expect Kate Hudson's romantic comedy to outdraw Jackie Chan's actionfest

Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, ... | CAN'T 'LOSE'? The Hudson/McConaughey romantic comedy is likely to finish its opening weekend on top
CAN'T 'LOSE'? The Hudson/McConaughey romantic comedy is likely to finish its opening weekend on top

With the guy-oriented action comedy ''Shanghai Knights'' going up against bona fide chick flick ''How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,'' teenage couples will do a lot of bickering this weekend over what to see at the multiplex.

It may simply turn out that the movie playing in more theaters will win. ''How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,'' which may as well be called ''How to Alienate All Guys in 8 Words,'' premieres in more than 2,900 movie houses. The romantic comedy features Kate Hudson as a journalist who tries to repel ad exec Matthew McConaughey for the purposes of a magazine column. And although the script and direction leave much to be desired, Hudson and McConaughey are positively charming. If the nation's gals convince the guys in their lives to accompany them, ''How to Lose a Guy'' could be the winner at the box office, scoring $18 million.

But don't count out ''Shanghai Knights,'' the latest kickfest from Jackie Chan and the sequel to the midsize hit ''Shanghai Noon.'' Chan reunites with the dry Owen Wilson, much to the delight of the franchise's mostly male fans. Chan's last film, ''The Tuxedo,'' debuted in 2002 with $15.1 million. ''Knights,'' opening on some 2,600 screens, should top it with $16 million.

Expanding wide for the first time is Golden Globe winner and future multiple Oscar nominee ''Chicago,'' which has already grossed more than $50 million in limited release. Hitting about 1,600 theaters, the musical should razzle-dazzle the entire country to the tune of $14 million.

And last week's No. 1 film, ''The Recruit,'' starring Al Pacino and Colin Farrell, will likely drop to fourth place, slipping 35 percent to $10 million or $11 million.

The week's final new release, ''Deliver Us From Eva,'' should round out the top five. A comedic romance starring ''Bring It On'' hottie Gabrielle Union and some guy named James Todd Smith (that's LL Cool J to you and me), ''Eva'' boasts sharp TV ads that will certainly draw LL's fans. Opening in just 1,100 theaters, ''Eva'' should nevertheless bring it on with a tidy sum of about $9 million.

Originally posted Feb 07, 2003