Box Office Preview

Buck a Nears

Will audiences join Johnny Depp's amusement ride? When it comes to thrilling movie attractions, his ''Pirates of the Caribbean'' figures to sell more E tickets than ''League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'' and "Terminator 3''

Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | IN THE SWING OF THINGS Depp has high ropes for ''Caribbean''
IN THE SWING OF THINGS Depp has high ropes for ''Caribbean''
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We've all been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World. Now who wants to see the movie?

Disney is hoping a lot of us do by releasing "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," the first movie based on a theme-park ride. The film, featuring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and "Bend It Like Beckham" star Keira Knightley, has received positive reviews from critics and audiences since opening on Wednesday and looks to dethrone "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" from the top of the box office charts this weekend. "Pirates" won't break any box office records, but a $30 million haul over the weekend seems likely, resulting in a five-day debut in the $43 million range.

The other major new release this weekend is the comic-book inspired superhero flick "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," starring Sean Connery, Peta Wilson, and Shane West. Though the film combines many popular characters, it doesn't have the same level of star power as "Pirates" (and has suffered some withering reviews), which means it'll have to settle for runner-up status with about $25 million.

"Terminator 3," meanwhile, should see a drop of about 55 percent from its $44 million debut. Another $20 million would bring the sequel up to $110 million after two weeks.

Fourth place should go to "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," which will see a drop in the 45 percent range to $12 million, bringing its two-week total to around $62 million.

And the year's top film so far, "Finding Nemo," will continue its fantastic run, slipping 30 percent to $8 million. Its total will then stand at around $290 million, and it will certainly become the first film to top $300 million since "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." Who knew clownfish could be as popular as Hobbits?

Originally posted Jul 10, 2003
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