Box Office Preview

High Praise

''Passion'' will remain at No. 1. The Biblical epic is now Mel Gibson's highest-grossing film

James Caviezel, The Passion of the Christ | CROSSROADS ''Passion'' has already earned more than $200 million
CROSSROADS ''Passion'' has already earned more than $200 million

Can ''The Passion of the Christ'' make it three weeks in a row at the top of the box office chart? Mel Gibson's directorial effort has already topped ''Signs'' as his highest-grossing film ever, with more than $228 million in domestic receipts. Now it's set to battle Johnny Depp's new thriller ''Secret Window.''

Another drop in the 42 percent range for ''The Passion'' would result in another $31 million, bringing its total past $260 million, meaning it'll become one of the top 25 grossers of all time.

''Secret Window,'' starring Depp as a writer accused of plagiarism, is based on a Stephen King story, which automatically brings a certain fan base to the theaters. Add that to Depp's recently raised profile (thanks to the phenomenal success -- including an Oscar nomination -- of ''Pirates of the Caribbean'') and you have a potential hit on your hands. Still, ''Window'' might have a hard time catching ''The Passion.'' Even with a $24 million debut, it'll have to settle for second place.

Meanwhile, last week's runner-up, ''Starsky & Hutch,'' is likely to fall 40 percent to $17 million, while two films will fight for fourth place. Viggo Mortensen's equine thriller ''Hidalgo'' should slip 45 percent to $10 million, while Frankie Muniz's sequel ''Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London'' should see a debut of $10 million as well.

Also opening nationwide is the latest David Mamet drama, ''Spartan,'' starring Val Kilmer. But with a low theater count (850), its title may also describe its box office take.

Originally posted Mar 11, 2004

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