Tom Hanks, who lost 30 pounds for his role in DreamWorks Films' "Cast Away," stars in the leading contender to snatch up some $100 million over the first four weeks, according to Internet game site Hollywood Stock Exchange.
For Mr. Hanks, "Cast Away" looks like it could repeat the success of his film "The Green Mile," which hit theaters last year at around this time and took in $100 million-plus. Look for Mr. Hanks to KO contenders Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner and George Clooney.
Universal's "The Family Man" stars Mr. Cage in a "chick flick" about a single man who suddenly finds himself with a wife and a family. Mr. Cage doesn't have a good track record for appealing to female-oriented audiences, and many other pictures, including Mel Gibson's "What Women Want," appear poised to grab the women's share of the box-office receipts.
Movie analysts don't think Sony Pictures will get lucky with "Thirteen Days," a film starring Mr. Costner that aims to recreate the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Reality-based movies, such as last year's "The Insider," haven't fared too well.
Writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen are at it again with "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", a Depression-era piece starring Mr. Clooney. This is poised to be another "Hudsucker Proxy" where critics are left wanting more, but it may leave studio executives wanting more box-office cash.