''Without a Paddle'' could end up as the No. 1 movie of this weekend? Yep, the summer's over.
''Paddle,'' a silly buddy comedy starring Matthew Lillard, Seth Green, and ''Punk'd'' costar Dax Shepard, may not see a huge debut this weekend, but a $16 million opening could help it snag the top slot.
On its heels will likely be ''Exorcist: The Beginning,'' a prequel to the classic horror film. This one stars the excellent actor Stellan Skarsgard -- not that any of the teenagers who line up will even care. Still, a $15 million debut seems likely, placing it neck and neck with last week's top film, ''Alien vs. Predator,'' which should see a 60 percent drop in its second weekend to $15 million.
Yet another scary flick, ''Open Water,'' expands to approximately 2,500 theaters this weekend after two weeks in limited release. Thanks to its hot buzz, it should score $12 million or so this weekend, placing it alongside ''The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement,'' which will slip 50 percent to $12 million. Those looking for higher-quality choices, take heart: September is only a few weeks away.