Clooney eyes box office touchdown with comedy

Thu Apr 3, 2008 10:01pm EDT
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - George Clooney is set to score at the North American box office this weekend.

While "Leatherheads" is not exactly the glitziest vehicle in his career, the 1920s sports comedy is likely to open at No. 1 with sales at least in the mid-teen millions.

Clooney, who also directed the Universal Pictures release, plays a professional football player in the sport's anarchic early days.

"Leatherheads" is tracking well with older men and women, and interest seemed to be building this week among male youngsters. Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski also star.

Other openers include the family fantasy "Nim's Island," starring Jodie Foster, Abigail Breslin and Gerard Butler, and the horror film "The Ruins."

An adaptation of a kids book by Wendy Orr, "Nim's Island" could reach the low-teen millions, which should be good enough for No. 2 or No. 3. The film comes from 20th Century Fox.

Much depends on how Sony's college kids-hit-Vegas drama "21" performs during its second round. "21" topped the domestic box office last weekend with a $24.1 million bow, and a 50% hold would produce about $12 million during its second outing.

DreamWorks/Paramount's "Ruins," based on Scott Smith' best-selling novel, could be limited to an opening in the mid- to high-single-digit millions.   Continued...

<p>Director and cast member George Clooney (L) and his girlfriend Sarah Larson pose at the premiere of "Leatherheads" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California, March 31, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>