Elite soldiers will face off against supernatural fiends in the battle for the box-office crown this weekend, while prehistoric creatures should be satisfied to have a few bites of leftovers. Last week's champ, the action-heavy sequel "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" will face stiff competition from "Evil Dead,"the well-reviewed remake of the 1981 cult horror classic. Industry analysts expect the two to vie for the #1 spot, while the IMAX 3-D re-release of "Jurassic Park" should do decent business.
With the added firepower of the Rock and Bruce Willis joining the franchise, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" opened with $40.5 million last weekend and could take in an additional $20 million this weekend, which isn't far off from expectations for "Evil Dead." The latest entry/re-imagining of the franchise started by "Spider-Man" trilogy director Sam Raimi (who produced this one) could climb as high as $25 million, which would mean "Evil Dead" could outgross the box office of the franchise's first three movies in a single weekend.
If that happens, "Evil Dead" should be a lock to beat "G.I. Joe." Kid-friendly DreamWorks Animation flick "The Croods" could even push "Joe" down to #3, if it continues to play well, according to Exhibitor Relations box-office analyst Jeff Bock.
"The latest 'Evil Dead' received bloody-drippin' great reviews when it premiered at SXSW Film Festival this year and has been buzzing like Ash's trusty sidekick ever since," Bock told MTV News, referencing the chainsaw once brandished by Bruce Campbell. "From the looks of it right now, Sony's reboot may be headed toward a rip-roaring debut of $25 million, which is why many involved are already discussing sequels."
IMDB.com's Keith Simanton predicted a $25 million opening for "Evil Dead" as well and a 45 percent drop for "G.I. Joe."
So what will be leftover for the 3-D retrofit "Jurassic Park," which is being rolled out to whet appetites for the impending "Jurassic Park 4"? "The Lion King 3D" was a smash, but similar attempts (like "Star Wars Episode I") and other Disney classics failed to deliver like Simba. "I just don't feel the dino-love for a 3-D version," noted Simanton. "They'll be banking $17 million."
In limited release, the latest film from genre-hopping director Danny Boyle will arrive this weekend. "Trance" is a mind-bender about the stealing of an expensive work of art, filled with hypnosis, amnesia and plot twists galore. The filmmaker behind "Trainspotting" and "127 Hours" has received mostly positive reviews for his latest work, but it may not resonate broadly.
"Danny Boyle is one of the most consistently inconsistent filmmakers working today," said Bock. "That is not to say he isn't brilliant, because he is; it just means that often times his films don't connect with audiences at the box office. 'Trance' looks to be one of those films, like 'Sunshine,' 'Millions,' and 'A Life Less Ordinary.' Depending on how it does this weekend, it may or may not get a wide release. It's been a tough road lately for Fox Searchlight, as they haven't had a runaway hit in far too long."