Weekly Anticipation Index: 'The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3' and 'Imagine That'

Featured Stories - on April 18, 2009 by Phil Contrino

Two established actors will face off against each at the box office during the second weekend of June.

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Denzel Washington and Eddie Murphy will be competing against each other for box office supremacy this June.

Washington has paired with John Travolta for a reimagining of the subway thriller The Taking of the Pelham 1 2 3, and Murphy will continue to appeal to family audiences in Imagine That. Considering that Pelham will skew older, the two actors won't be competing for the same demographics.

While Washington has never reached the same blockbuster status that Murphy has, he's certainly been a more consistently solid box office presence. In 2007, the Academy Award-winning actor stuck gold as a ruthless mobster in American Gangster, which grabbed an impressive $130 million domestically. Before that, 2006's Deja Vu grabbed $64 million ($70.2 million when adjusted for inflation), and that same year Inside Man raked in $88.6 million ($97.2 million adjusted). In 2004, The Manchurian Candidate, another reimagining, grossed $65.9 million ($76.3 million adjusted).

The safe bet is on Washington to win the weekend.

While Murphy can never be counted out, he's the definition of hit and miss. 2007's Norbit grossed $95.6 million domestically, but Meet Dave landed with a thud last summer and it grossed less than $12 million. As long as Paramount gives Imagine That a strong marketing blitz it should manage to post modest numbers.

Weekly Anticipation Index, April 18, 2009
Title Release Date Distributor Opening Weekend Cumulative
Obsessed April 24 Sony $17M $48M
The Soloist April 24 DreamWorks $13M $35M
X-Men Origins: Wolverine May 1 20th Century Fox $88M $195M
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past May 1 Warner Bros./ New Line $24M $80M
Star Trek May 8 Paramount $58M $140M
Angels & Demons May 15 Sony $68M $170M
Terminator Salvation May 21 Warner Bros. $60M $185M
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian May 22 Fox $50M $190M
Dance Flick May 22 Paramount $18M $52M
UP May 29 Disney/Pixar $50M $175M
Drag Me to Hell May 29 Universal $18M $42M
Land of the Lost June 5 Universal $35M $100M
The Hangover June 5 Warner Bros. $27M $105M
Imagine That June 12 Paramount $21M $68M
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 June 12 Sony $30M $95M

Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.

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