Box Office Preview: 'Angels & Demons' prays for a weekend win

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Angels & Demons
, the second film from the pedigreed partnership of Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, and mega-bestselling author Dan Brown, comes barreling into theaters around the world tomorrow. Yet, the movie that was once considered a shoo-in for first place at the weekend box office is not such an automatic winner anymore, considering the amazing word of mouth and mid-week sales for last weekend’s champ, Star Trek.

Ultimately, this weekend will be a test of the power of audiences over age 25, who are most interested in seeing the Vatican-set thriller. But middling reviews could have them turning again to J.J. Abrams’ reinvention of Gene Roddenberry’s universe, which has both older Trekkers and young fanboys alike going gaga. Check out my predictions below.

1. Angels & Demons — $47 million
In the end, symbologist Robert Langdon will likely prevail. But unlike its predecessor, 2006′s The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons’ opening won’t be anything close to a $77.1 million haul. Considering the movie is debuting day and date all over the world, its international box office take is likely to be bigger than its domestic.

2. Star Trek — $45 million
Audiences haven’t loved a sci-fi picture like this since last year’s Iron Man, which dropped an impressive 48 percent its second weekend in the theaters. With Star Trek racking up an additional $13 mil on Monday and Tuesday alone, it’s likely that the film starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto may only drop 40 percent for the frame, nipping closely at Angels & Demons’ heels.

3. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past — $5 million
This Matthew McConaughey starrer has hung in incredibly well, which is more a reflection of the marketplace than a testament to the strength of the movie itself. But in this frame you should expect to see it take a greater tumble — more likely in the 50 percent range, rather than the 33 percent it experienced last weekend. With women showing more interest in Angels & Demons than any other audience group, Ghosts‘ run will be on the wane.

4. Obsessed — $3 million
Beyonce Knowles’ thriller has already earned $56 mil. Anything beyond that for this $20 mil production is gravy.

5. 17 Again — $2.5 million

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEKEND

Rian Johnson’s followup to the indie cult film Brick, The Brothers Bloom, a globe-trotting caper starring Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody, and Rachel Weisz, bows on four screens. Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn are also pairing up for the very limited release of Management, a road-trip romantic comedy that’s opening with some solid reviews (though our own Owen Gleiberman throttled it).

More Box Office News:
Star Trek soars with $72.5 mil debut
Wolverine opens with an impressive $87 million
Obsessed knocks out the competition with $28.5 mil
17 Again handily wins the weekend
EW.com’s Box Office Chart

addCredit(“Zade Rosenthal”)

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