Will Denzel Washington get rocked by Jack Black at the box office this weekend? Count on it, kids.
Thanks to fantastic reviews, great buzz, and a terrific, original premise, Black's comedy ''The School of Rock,'' in which the inventive comedian takes a job as a substitute teacher and recruits his students for a battle of the bands, will rule the weekend, appealing to fans of all ages (and even families). The PG-13 comedy could gross in the neighborhood of $25 million.
Second place will most certainly go to Washington, who returns with ''Out of Time,'' where he plays a Florida cop framed for a double murder. Though it's a very fine thriller, it doesn't exactly break any new ground, which will limit its audience somewhat. Still, Washington's star power should result in a $13 million debut.
Last week's top film, ''The Rundown,'' should see a 50 percent drop from its $18.5 million opening to about $9 million, while Diane Lane's romance ''Under the Tuscan Sun'' is likely to slip only 35 percent to $6 million. ''Underworld'' and ''Secondhand Lions'' will duke it out for fifth place, each earning about $5 million. But even fans of a vampire thriller or a family comedy are more likely to enroll in ''The School of Rock'' this weekend.