As a wise man (that'd be Steve Malkmus, lead singer of Pavement) once said, "Aloha means goodbye, and also hello; it is in how you inflect." Which is my way of telling you that this is my last box office prediction for a while -- please! try to hold back your tears! -- because, starting next week, I'll be handing the reins over to the lovely and talented Matt Bradshaw. Treat him good. One thing I do know: His prediction percentage is bound to be better than mine, which I believe hovered around 3 percent.
Our winners: Chris and Ray, both of whom alertly picked the hilarious Knocked Up to slide past Shrek for the number 2 spot -- though pretty much nobody foresaw that Kevin Costner, Serial Killer, would wind up playing so well in Peoria. Anyway, mad props to Chris and Ray, neither of whom, I am sure, resemble Robin Williams' knuckles. (And if you didn't get that reference, go see Knocked Up.)
What It's About: The boys are back in town -- Vegas, that is -- and this time they're out for revenge. Reuben (Elliott Gould), having been screwed over and pretty much bankrupted by hotelier Willie Banks (Al Pacino, looking very bronze), suffers a heart attack and is catatonic; so Danny (George Clooney), Rusty (Brad Pitt) and the rest hatch a plan to put Banks' new hotel and casino out of business.
Why It Might Do Well: If the cast of Ocean's doesn't define "starpower," then I don't know what does. All the actors from the incredibly popular first two films (sans Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones) return, and, like Ocean's Eleven, this movie's more fun than oughta be legal.
Why It Might Not Do Well: We're in the thick of summer blockbuster season now, and competition's fierce: Pirates is still doing strong, and it'll pull more of a family crowd than Ocean's. Also, it's possible that those who were disappointed by Ocean's Twelve may not have forgiven Steven Soderbergh yet. (Me, I kind of haven't forgiven him for Bubble, but that's another story.)
Prediction: $40 million