This weekend, the box office becomes a dumping ground for movies the studios had low hopes for when they developed their schedules. The end of August and the beginning of September are typically the most lackluster time of the year for ticket sales, and this year should prove to be no exception. Despite the fact that four new films are opening wide (one of them, The Rocker , opened on Wednesday), not one is expected to crack $20 million. Most analysts expect Focus Features' thriller Death Race to win the weekend race with about $14-17 million. Its primary competition will come from Sony's comedy The House Bunny , which will likely end up in second place with $12-16 million. But both 20th Century Fox's The Rocker and MGM/Dimension Films' The Longshots will struggle to make it into the top ten, forecasters say. Each is expected to earn only $5-7 million. Many analysts are keeping an eye on Focus Features' Hamlet 2, which is opening in only about 100 theaters this weekend with hopes of building word-of-mouth excitement for its wider opening next Wednesday at about 1,500 theaters. The film received much praise from critics earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. (Full reviews of the movie will appear here on Wednesday)

22/08/2008