Projection Booth: Bond, Denzel And Penguins Battle For Holiday Bucks

'Déjàa Vu' joins 'Casino Royale' and 'Happy Feet' in holiday box-office race.

Put down that second helping of stuffing and stop eyeing that piece of pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving weekend is about more than food — it’s about the movies. Traditionally one of the biggest weekends of the year at the box office (What better way to take a break from the family than to catch a flick?), this Thanksgiving looks to be no different, with a film in theaters to match any mood. Though there’s no obvious juggernaut like last year’s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (which earned $54.7 in its second frame last Thanksgiving), there are a bevy of worthy contenders for the box-office crown.

This holiday is all about families, as Hollywood is keenly aware, so look for a couple of big flicks to duke it out for that audience this year — namely last week’s #1 film, “Happy Feet” ($41.5 million) and one newcomer, the Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito vehicle “Deck the Halls.” If those dancing penguins could defeat 007 last weekend, don’t be surprised if they take out a comedy about rival families on the same suburban block this go round.

Speaking of Bond, “Casino Royale” certainly won’t go down without a fight. Barely edged out last week for that coveted #1, this flick could very well emerge on top — especially considering the great word of mouth.

Competing with Bond for those action-hungry fans will be Denzel Washington in the time-travel thriller “Déjà Vu” (see “Denzel Washington Falls For Dead Woman In Mind-Bending “Déjà Vu” “ ). The combo of Denzel and director Tony Scott has worked well their last two times together (“Crimson Tide” and “Man on Fire”) so look for this one to be competitive as well.

If you like your adventures a little more cerebral, then go on and take a journey into the human heart (stop rolling your eyes) with the ambitious psychedelic love story, “The Fountain,” starring Hugh Jackman.

Finally, don’t ever count out Jack Black, especially when he’s fronting the self-proclaimed greatest rock band in the world. The long-awaited “Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny” is out this week (see “Can Tenacious D Follow In Borat’s Footsteps, Beat Cult-Comedy Curse?” ), and while it may not have gotten the quality reviews of the other flicks mentioned, none of those films feature Satan and Sasquatch. At least we’re pretty sure about that — we haven’t seen “Deck the Halls.”

The Predictions:You know the drill. Three prognosticators enter, one leaves victorious. (Yes, that was a reference to “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” Pat yourself on the back, fellow movie maniac.) The MTV Movies gang takes on none other than the Human Torch this week to see who can best predict the box office’s cloudy future.

What’s The #1 Flick? And How Much Is It Raking In?

Larry Carroll, MTV News writer: “Casino Royale” ($39 million) “Bond is going to avenge his — and my — defeat at the hands of those damn dancing penguins last week. Now that all the old people who’ve loved Bond for decades have a few days off, they’ll get out to the theater. I’m predicting $39 million over the long weekend, which would be enough to make even Daniel Craig smile.”

Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor: “Happy Feet” ($36 million) “It’s all about the dancing penguins. I danced with them to victory last week and I expect to be doing a jig with them come Monday morning. Bring on the green for this family flick.”

Chris Evans, star of “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”: “Casino Royale” ($21 million) “I’m gonna say ‘Casino Royale,’ because I think the word of mouth will be great. Let’s say $21 million. Do I get a prize if I win?”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Happy Feet”, “Casino Royale”, “Déjàa Vu” and “Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny”.

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