Box Office Preview

For 'Christ''s Sake

''The Passion'' will rise (to No. 1) again. ''Starsky & Hutch'' should have a strong second-place debut

The Passion of the Christ | 'CHRIST' COMPLEX ''Passion'' (starring Maria Morgenstern and Jim Caviezel) continues to build on its controversial word-of-mouth
Image credit: The Passion of The Christ: Philippe Antonello
'CHRIST' COMPLEX ''Passion'' (starring Maria Morgenstern and Jim Caviezel) continues to build on its controversial word-of-mouth

Get ready for ''The Passion of the Christ,'' Act II.

After exploding with $83.8 million in its opening weekend (and $125.2 million over its first five days), Mel Gibson's personal project will easily log another weekend atop the box office chart, thanks to continuing media coverage and audience interest. Even with a drop of 40 percent, ''The Passion'' will gross another $50 million this weekend, bringing its two-week total above the $200 million mark.

Meanwhile, the comic duo of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson will have to settle for second place with their latest effort, a big-screen update of the '70s TV hit ''Starsky & Hutch.'' Their funny bit at the Oscars only increased awareness of the film, which should debut with $25 million.

Speaking of the Academy Awards, ''The Return of the King'' star Viggo Mortensen has his first post-Aragorn vehicle in ''Hidalgo,'' a period thriller whose TV ads try to make it seem like the latest ''Mummy'' movie. The tactic should work, to the tune of about $16 million.

The returning films ''50 First Dates'' and ''Confessions of a Drama Queen'' will round out the top five with $7 million and $4 million, respectively. But they'll need to make room next week for Johnny Depp's ''Secret Window.''

Originally posted Mar 04, 2004
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