It's a battle of the former ''Saturday Night Live'' comedians at multiplexes this Thanksgiving weekend, as Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Will Ferrell compete for box office supremacy. With a little help from Dr. Seuss, Myers should win.
After debuting last weekend with $38.3 million, ''The Cat in the Hat'' is likely to prove the most irresistible holiday film this weekend, thanks to its eyepopping visuals and generally sunny tone. Over the five-day period, it should gross another $45 million.
Of the week's new releases, the most promising seems to be Murphy's ''Haunted Mansion,'' the latest film based on a Disney theme-park ride. But with mostly poor reviews, this one will be no ''Pirates of the Caribbean.'' Still, Murphy's star power should result in a $40 million debut.
Ferrell, meanwhile, will see a sizable bump in ''Elf'''s take as more audiences get in the holiday mood. Already just shy of $100 million in domestic sales, ''Elf'' should earn another $25 million, followed by last week's No. 2 film, ''Gothika,'' with around $20 million.
One of three other new films will round out the top five. Billy Bob Thornton's dark comedy ''Bad Santa'' will draw younger male fans to the tune of $18 million; Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones' frightening Western will scare up about $16 million; and the time-travel thriller ''Timeline,'' starring Paul Walker, might get lost in time with about $16 million.