Dog days take toll on movie offerings

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DOLDRUMS: The movie business cools off around this time of year -- the big summer blockbusters are behind us and the fall roster of niche and adult films are front and center.

Looking to steam up the big screen in "The Cell" -- a thriller about a scientist who travels inside the mind of a comatose serial killer to save a kidnapped girl -- is Jennifer Lopez.

So far traders at the Hollywood Stock Exchange game don't think much of this mindbender. "The Cell" has been in the H$40s, which means, according to HSX, that the movie will pull in some $40 million over its first four weeks. Not exactly a hit, but it should be profitable. Ms. Lopez's StarBond on the exchange is in the middle of its three-month range.

In "The Replacements," Keanu Reeves stars as a replacement quarterback for the Washington Redskins during a players strike. This film hasn't been able to move out of the H$30 to H$40 range since May. Not a good sign for a winning team. However, Mr. Reeves' stock price is near its all-time high.

Two other movies with lower expectations are "The Crew," a comedy about retired Miami Beach mobsters, and "Bring It On," a black comedy about a highly competitive cheerleader.

The good news: "The Crew," which stars Burt Reynolds and Richard Dreyfus, is the only one of this quartet of movies to be moving steadily up in recent weeks. StarBond for Kirsten Dunst, the cheerleader in "Bring It On," is near its high for the year. Way to score . . . team!

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