Warner Bros.' musical comedy "Joyful Noise," starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, should come out singing this Martin Luther King holiday weekend, with a likely debut pushing $20 million by Monday night.
A story of two spirited women battling for creative control of their church choir should harmonize well with family audiences looking for an uplifting experience.
But fellow-newcomer "Contraband" from Universal, starring Mark Wahlberg as a reformed smuggler in yet another one-last-job movie, is also making a run for the high-teens during the four-day period.
And Disney's 3-D re-release of 1991's "Beauty and the Beast" is chasing the same high-teen dream, too, following last year's widely successful 3-D conversion of another animated classic, "The Lion King."
Paramount's "Mission: Impossible _ Ghost Protocol" continues to thrill audiences, climbing back to the top of the box office chart during the midweek period. A likely gross in the mid-teens this weekend will power the action blockbuster toward a $200 million North American total by Monday night.
"Found-footage" phenomenon "The Devil Inside" from Paramount Insurge, which surprised everyone with its massive $33.7 million No. 1 debut last weekend, will likely see a steep drop and wind up with a gross of just over $10 million this weekend. No matter, though, since the micro-budget, R-rated film has already made a huge profit for the studio and should have nearly $50 million scared up by the end of the weekend.
Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and provides box office analysis for The Associated Press.