UPDATED: Weekend Predictions (Feb. 6 to Feb. 8, 2009): 'He's Just Not That Into You,' 'The Pink Panther 2,' 'Push' and 'Coraline'

Featured Stories - on February 05, 2009 by Phil Contrino

BOXOFFICE takes a look at which new releases will post the strongest numbers this weekend.

Coming off an extremely strong month of January, the first full weekend of February promises to deliver very solid box office numbers.

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Thanks to a truly impressive ensemble cast (Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, etc.) and the appeal it will have among dating couples, He's Just Not That Into You should easily snag the top spot this weekend. The romantic copy accounted for a whopping 56% of Fandango's daily ticket sales on Thursday as of 2 p.m. PT.

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Into You will need to grab all the cash it can during its first week of release considering that Confessions of a Shopaholic is due out February 13, and that will lure away much of the female audience that will be seeing Into You this weekend.

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The always reliable Steve Martin will also enter the scene this weekend with The Pink Panther 2. 2006's The Pink Panther was able to bring in $20.2 million during its opening frame, which translates to $22,165,276 when adjusted for inflation. Now that Paul Blart: Mall Cop is on the downward slope of its very successful theatrical run, family audiences will be looking for something new to see and PP2 will fill that spot. Expect the Sony release to finish with as much as $21 million this weekend.

With Push, Summit will try to continue the momentum they gained last November thanks to Twilight. While the film boasts no major stars–Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning and Djimon Hounsou are mostly known as supporting actors–the marketing blitz has been strong and the trailers promise some genuine thrills for actions fans. Push will have to directly compete with Taken, which should have a solid sophomore frame after opening in first place last weekend. The action flick could snag as much as $11 million during its first weekend in theatres.

Focus steps into the world of 3D this weekend with Coraline. Unfortunately, family audiences are probably going to be more likely to chose PP2 over Henry Selick's ( The Nightmare Before Christmas ) latest venture. Opening at a modest 2,298 locations – the lowest tally of any new wide release – Coraline should muster a modest debut haul of $9 million. Thanks to positive reviews and the benefit of 3D, the film could end up showing more stamina at the box office than the weekend's other new releases.

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