This week is a throwdown between a second weekend of nostalgia, and the star-power of Mr. Brad Pitt. From where I sit number 1 is a tossup, as I expect The Lion King to hold up exceptionally well in its second of two frames. The surprise mega-hit re-release took last weekend by storm, and could as easily retain the top spot if the baseball flick doesn’t connect. That said adult dramas are doing pretty well, Moneyball puts forward an intriguing concept, and the review are consistently great. Awards talk is premature, but it doesn’t hurt perception. Ultimately I’m really pulling for Moneyball, it’s a wonderfully entertaining and solid piece of material.

On the lower end of the top five, there’s a family film that will struggle to get attention in the lion-crowded market, but features enough of a familiar face (Freeman) and inspiring story that it should make it well into the double digits. If families latch onto it, it could stick around make some more money once the limited engagement Lion King slides out of theaters. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of the two actioners flopping out hard, but they’ll likely both do decentish numbers. Lautner’s star is hard to quantify at this point, but Abduction isn’t going to play to any but the most frantic of the Twilight crowd and it’s surely not drawing action-seeking guys. Killer Elite will probably be a typical Statham release, but don’t expect much of inflation from names like Owen and De Niro, even if in another universe you would think that to be the case.

We’ll dig deeper Monday!

Moneyball ….. $20,000,000
The Lion King 3D ….. $20,000,000
Dolphin Tale …. $12,500,000
Abduction ….. $11,500,000
Killer Elite ….. $9,500,000

The thread in which you talk about this stuff.