Hollywood swings for box office fences

Published on .

HITTING HOME: In baseball parlance, the first weekend in August is the equivalent of one last time up at the plate for movie studios.

By mid-August, kids are going back to school, so this weekend is the last chance to hit one out of the ballpark. Remember last year? That was when "The Sixth Sense" from Walt Disney Co. rocketed to summer stardom.

Disney will try the same trick this year with "Coyote Ugly," a movie about a female-run country and western bar in Manhattan that debuts Aug. 4. "Ugly," stars relative newcomer Piper Perabo as an aspiring songwriter who moonlights as a bartender.

Ms. Perabo's StarBond on the Hollywood Stock Exchange is trending upward at just over H$1,100, but the movie's stock is in low H$30 range, which means HSX is predicting that over four weeks the film will drink up a parched $30 million. That pales in comparison to the $200 million-plus box office "Sixth Sense" posted.

Also starting on Aug. 4 is "Space Cowboys," starring Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones as aging astronauts. The film's stock is hovering in the high H$50 range. "The Hollow Man," also opening that weekend, is another version of "The Invisible Man," this time starring Kevin Bacon. It's pulling down the best numbers to date for Aug. 4, in the mid-H$60 range.

"Autumn in New York," a bittersweet love story with Richard Gere and Winona Ryder, also opens Aug. 4. At H$26 a share, it doesn't look to be the best bet--though its stock is climbing.wayne friedman

Most Popular
In this article: