Box Office Preview

Death Pool

''Freddy vs. Jason'' will kill at the box office -- Look for ''Open Range,'' Kevin Costner's anticipated Western, to slip into the top five as well

Friday may fall on the 15th this month, but it'll feel like the 13th to the legions of horror freaks who have been counting down the days until ''Freddy vs. Jason'' hits theaters.

The genius combination of the ''Nightmare on Elm Street'' and ''Friday the 13th'' franchises will try to top the final tallies of the most recent slasher flicks -- 1994's ''Wes Craven's New Nightmare'' earned $18.1 million, while last year's ''Jason X'' grossed $12.6 million -- in its first three days. And it could very well happen. Thanks to renewed interest in the series and a relative lack of horror titles right now, ''Freddy vs. Jason'' could ring up a $22 million debut.

That would push last week's top film, ''S.W.A.T.,'' to second place. A 50 percent drop from its $37.1 million opening would mean a $19 million weekend for the action film starring Colin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson. Likewise, ''Freaky Friday'' will also slide a notch with a 35 percent drop to $14 million.

Fourth place could go to the new Kevin Costner Western ''Open Range,'' costarring Robert Duvall and Annette Bening. Though it's playing in the fewest theaters of the weekend's four new releases, audiences seem to be eager to see the film, which could debut with about $10 million.

The last slot in the top five could go to a returning favorite like ''Pirates of the Caribbean'' or ''Seabiscuit.'' Or Brittany Murphy could claim it with her new comedy, ''Uptown Girls.'' All three films should earn about $8 million for the weekend.

The last new entry is the skateboarding flick ''Grind,'' which features no big-name stars and will therefore appeal mostly to skating freaks. With around $5 million for the weekend, it'll open far outside the top five. Which isn't that rad.

Originally posted Aug 15, 2003
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