"The Lincoln Lawyer," "Paul" and a "Limitless" Bradley Cooper face a "Battle: Los Angeles" for box office supremacy this weekend and it's likely that Sony's attacking aliens will again prevail.
"Battle" had a better-than-expected debut last weekend of $35.6 million and has been performing well midweek, with grosses in the $3 million range that portend a solid second weekend in the high teens and a shot at becoming the first film this year to hold the No. 1 spot for two consecutive weeks.
Of course, there are three hot new releases to contend with, all of which have the potential for debuts in the mid-teen range, and should one of them break out, that gross could hit the high teens.
Relativity Media's "Limitless" brings "Hangover" star Bradley Cooper back to the big screen in his first truly non-ensemble role playing a man who stumbles upon a pill that can accelerate brain function and thus offer him limitless possibilities.
Next in the newcomer lineup is an alien of a more comedic nature than those looking to vaporize Los Angeles _ Universal's R-rated "Paul," voiced by Seth Rogen, which has already earned $25 million in four overseas territories, including the biggest debut of the year in the U.K.
Matthew McConaughey gets back to the type of role that catapulted him to stardom 15 years ago in "A Time to Kill" as an attorney of a different sort in "The Lincoln Lawyer," about a counselor who conducts business from the back seat of his Town Car. The R-Rated drama from Lionsgate boasts the first use of the popular deal-of-the-day website Groupon to promote a film nationally.
Rounding out the top five will be Paramount's animated hit "Rango," with an expected gross in the low teens and a likely domestic total in the high $80 millions after maintaining solid midweek grosses in the $2.5 million range.
Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and a longtime box office analyst for The Associated Press.