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The One

What is the ''Matrix''? No. 1 this weekend -- ''Revolutions'' should easily outpace ''Elf'' and ''Love Actually''

Hugo Weaving, Keanu Reeves, ... | FIGHT TO THE FINISH ''Matrix Revolutions'' will undoubtedly knock out its competition
Image credit: Matrix Revolutions: Jasin Boland
FIGHT TO THE FINISH ''Matrix Revolutions'' will undoubtedly knock out its competition

You say you want a ''Revolution,'' huh? Well, you've got it. A hugely successful movie trilogy comes to a close this weekend with the release of ''The Matrix Revolutions,'' just six months after ''The Matrix Reloaded'' became one of the biggest openings of all time.

''Reloaded'' earned $91.8 million over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of its debut weekend, and $134.3 million over four and a half days (it opened on a Wednesday night). Will ''Revolutions,'' which premiered this past Wednesday, top that? Given the mixed response to ''Reloaded'' and the poor reviews for ''Revolutions,'' it doesn't seem likely. Which isn't to say chapter 3 is going to flop. Audience interest is still off the charts, and the series boasts millions of fans, most of whom will show up in the first few days. Variety reports that ''Revolutions'' racked up $43.1 million worldwide in its first day of release. Expect it to grab around $70 million over the weekend and $125 million in its first five days.

Movie fans looking to check their brains at the door have the perfect counterprogramming choice in ''Elf,'' the latest comedy from former ''Saturday Night Live'' standout Will Ferrell. Much like Jack Black's ''School of Rock,'' ''Elf'' will appeal to both kids and adults, thanks to Ferrell's joyous comedy style. ''Elf'' should prance off with a merry $20 million.

Meanwhile, Disney's cartoon ''Brother Bear'' should hold nicely in its first full weekend (it opened last Saturday), slipping only 20 percent to $16 million. And with Halloween now history, last week's top film, ''Scary Movie 3,'' will drop about 50 percent to $10 million.

Fifth place could go to the crowd-pleasing ''Radio,'' which will slip another 30 percent to about $7 million. But it could get squeezed out by the new ensemble romantic comedy ''Love Actually,'' which opens this weekend in around 550 theaters. Audiences willing to see past ''The Matrix'' will be enticed by castmembers Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, and Laura Linney -- to the tune of $6 million or $7 million. Which, given the theater count, would ''actually'' be pretty impressive.

Originally posted Nov 06, 2003