Russell Brand is just about guaranteed a first-place finish at the weekend box office. He's the voice behind the animated character in Hop , the top ticket-seller last weekend, and he's also the star of Arthur , the remake of the 1981 comedy that starred the late Dudley Moore. Analysts predict that Hop will remain in the lead with around $20-25 million in ticket sales, with Arthur coming in second with $15-20 million. Three other new films, Your Highness, Soul Surfer, and Hanna are not expected to create more than a ripple at the box office, although Soul Surfer is expected to get a lift from heavy promotion in churches, particularly in the South, which could bring out crowds of folks who ordinarily don't go to the movies. All of the newcomers are burdened with mostly negative reviews.

08/04/2011