Projection Booth: Forget The Competition — 'Borat' Is Going Big

After a surprise #1 opening, everyone's favorite reporter from Kazakhstan gets bumped up to 2,000 screens.

We are in uncharted box-office waters this weekend thanks to a certain gentleman from Kazakhstan.

It's the second weekend for "Borat" in theaters, but this is the one that really counts. After surprising nearly every so-called box-office expert by taking in $26.4 million its first weekend in only 837 theaters, the rest of America is about to get their first up-close-and-personal look at the film as it goes wide on more than 2,000 screens. "Borat" can't possibly maintain its jaw-dropping $30,000 per-screen average this weekend, but clearly a big weekend is in the future.

Moviegoers do have other options this weekend, however, with a trio of much different fare opening up. Sarah Michelle Gellar stars in "The Return," a horror flick that's received almost no pre-release attention. Don't look for "Grudge"-like numbers from this one. Meanwhile Will Ferrell makes another baby step toward drama with the release of "Stranger Than Fiction," the quirky new comic drama co-starring Emma Thompson. We know Ferrell can open a movie as an anchorman and a race car driver, but as the protagonist in a suicidal author's book? We'll find out Monday.

The other notable wide release of the weekend will be "A Good Year," starring Russell Crowe. Like Ferrell's foray, this flick represents something of a departure for Crowe from his usual testosterone-charged fare. No swords or boxing gloves here. Instead it's wine and women in the south of France.

The Predictions: We like our movies, and the only thing we like more is guessing how much they are going to make. So here we go with our latest round of predictions, complete with our usual revolving guest star. This week it's Meat Loaf!

What will be the #1 flick? And how much will it rake in?

Larry Carroll, MTV News writer: "Borat" ($29 million)

"I'm going to take one more victory lap with my successful prediction last week and once again declare that "Borat" is going to make a mouth party with American audiences. Factoring in the theater expansion — and the buzz that most studio execs would sell their sisters for — I'll say that it will take in $29 million this weekend. High-five!"

Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor: "Borat" ($31 million)

"I'm sensing a moviegoing phenomenon here. Last weekend was unbelievable for "Borat." Now, with it going wide, the sky is the limit for everyone's favorite foreigner."

Meat Loaf, star of "Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny": "Borat" ($26 million)

" 'Borat' is going to be huge this week. He got $26 million in 837 theatres! That's gigantic. The Will Ferrell movie will come in just underneath him."

Check out everything we've got on "Borat," "Stranger Than Fiction," "The Return" and "A Good Year."

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