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WEEKEND BOXOFFICE ADVANCE: Is Stallone 'Driven' Enough to Take the Checkered Flag and Finish No. 1?

27 Apr, 2001 By: Ed Ochs

Look for a shake-up in the top five this week, with No. 1 up for grabs as four new films compete to fill the vacuum at the top. Lining up in the pole position is Warner Bros.’ action racing drama Driven, followed by USA Films’ One Night at McCool’s, New Line’s comedy Town & Country and Sony’s vampire opus The Forsaken.

As for Miramax’s twin toppers, Bridget Jones’s Diary, while continuing to perform admirably, is not expected to hold on to No. 1, and Spy Kids, having given its best shot, is a factor but no longer a force. Both should pad their stats, close well under $10 million for the weekend, and keep their top five credentials one more week.

Paramount's Along Came a Spider is losing its grip, but, like Spy Kids, benefits from long legs granted by little competition in their genres, adult thrillers and family. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles and Freddy Got Fingered have nowhere to go but down -- and in Freddy case, out. The rest of the action will come from the new flicks on the block.

Warner Bros.’ PG-13 Driven reteams Sylvester Stallone with his Cliffhanger director Renny Harlin. Written and produced by Stallone, and co-starring Kip Pardue, Til Schweiger and Burt Reynolds, Driven features Stallone as a washed-up racer who helps a rookie become a star. With Stallone’s own star on the wane, Driven is being marketed less as a Stallone movie and more as a youth action drama built around fast action, on and off the track, which is a good idea if the studio doesn’t want to see another Get Carter opening ($6.6 million). But is it Driven enough to win the checkered flag on Sunday?

New Line’s R-rated romantic comedy Town & Country stars Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Andie MacDowell and Garry Shandling in one for the adult crowd. While the always-interesting Beatty seems to have been reborn as a comedian, and the cast tilts nicely toward a female audience, Town & Country, with its exploration of marriage and infidelity, may play more like a new Woody Allen movie than Beatty’s next step after Bullworth on the rung to bigger days at the box office.

USA Film’s R-rated comic crime caper One Night at McCool’s was produced by Michael Douglas and stars Liv Tyler as a wicked drifter who encounters Paul Reiser, Matt Dillon and John Goodman, to their misfortune. Lacking the compelling draw of Douglas’ USA Films Traffic outing -- or a cast that throws off sparks when you rub them together -- One Night at McCool’s could suffer a cool reception in a crowded marketplace or simply surprise behind the comedy team of Tyler and Douglas.

It’s scary to think that horror fans have gone frightless since Hannibal, but that dry (blood) spell is about to come to a screeching halt. Sony Screen Gems’ R-rated The Forsaken, starring newcomers Kerr Smith, Brendan Fehr and Izabella Miko, and written and directed by J.S. Cardone, picks up the toothy trail on the undying vampire trend. But with so many other choices available, The Forsaken, without stars to munch on, may have bitten off more than it can chew this opening weekend. You may or may not rest easier knowing this one will live forever in home video.

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