Projection Booth: Bond Is Back, And Battling Penguins

Daniel Craig out to prove he's 007-worthy this weekend.

Will the box office be shaken or stirred this weekend? That task falls on the muscular shoulders of one man: Craig, Daniel Craig.

Yes, the baton has officially been passed. A new James Bond is making the most of his license to kill in the latest in the storied franchise, "Casino Royale." The last go-around for 007 was "Die Another Day" in 2002, and it was a profitable one, raking in $47 million its opening weekend. Of course, that film had a proven Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and the biggest stunts and gadgets yet (invisible car, anyone?). This weekend we'll find out if the public is ready for Bond to go down and dirty, Jason Bourne style (see "Battle 'Royale': Some Bond Purists Say The Tux Doesn't Fit Daniel Craig").

And it's not like Bond has a clear path to #1. The highly praised animated musical "Happy Feet" will try to prove that "March of the Penguins" was no fluke. Besides, did that flick have Nicole Kidman singing? I don't think so. Look for this family comedy to make a strong showing in its debut, and maybe even overtake Bond.

Meanwhile, no one should count out "Borat" anytime soon (see " 'Borat' Rakes In Another $29 Million; Will Ferrell Opens At #4"). Armed with two weekends at the top and a tourist's suitcase full of catchphrases, the comedy of the year won't go down without a fight — and we're not talking about that naked man-on-man action in the flick.

The Predictions: Who is more foolish: the fool who follows the box office or the one who tries to predict it? Well, we are the latter around here, so once again our experts (including guest prognosticator, actress Julianne Nicholson) are trying to make like Nostradamus and tell you what's to come.

What Will Be The #1 Flick? And How Much Will It Rake In?

Larry Carroll, MTV news writer: "Casino Royale" ($32 million)

"Always bet on Bond. Despite the new face, it's the name of the agent that has made 20 films successful, and number 21 will open better than some might expect. I'm going to say that 'Casino Royale' takes in $32 million this weekend, which would make everyone happy — with the exception of maybe Pierce Brosnan."

Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor: "Happy Feet" ($36 million)

"Forget 'Flushed Away' or whatever forgettable recent animated flicks have come and gone. Early reviews for 'Happy Feet' say this one's a cut above. And does anyone remember how that last penguin flick did? Yeah, pretty well."

Julianne Nicholson, star of "Flannel Pajamas": "Borat" ($19.5 million)

"I'm going to say 'Borat' again. I haven't seen it yet, so I think there are enough people who haven't seen it, and there's so much hype — everybody's talking about it. 'Casino Royale' will come in second, neck and neck with 'Happy Feet.' I'll say $19 million — no, $19.5 million!"

Check out everything we've got on "Casino Royale," "Happy Feet" and "Borat."

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