Indiana Jones on trail of box office grail

Thu May 22, 2008 9:54pm EDT
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Industry tracking shows German filmmaker Uwe Boll's "Postal" making a late surge in prerelease polling against "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."


Actually, "Postal" appears to be going nowhere. Major movie theater chains refused to play the September 11-related farce, so it's now tagged for distribution starting Friday in just 13-15 theaters in seven markets. Boll, the filmmaker behind the "BloodRayne" fantasy series, had hoped for as many as 1,500 playdates.

There is one other result from exhibitors' revolt against "Postal," which spins a fantastical yarn featuring President Bush, Osama bin Laden and assorted September 11 references: high prospects of a quick detour to DVD bins.

Meanwhile, Paramount's latest Indiana Jones adventure debuted in about 2,000 locations at a 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Many venues sold out for the earliest showtimes, with playdates set to swell to at least 4,260 by Friday.

Paramount executives hope that "Skull" can outgross in its five-day debut the $151.1 million earned by Sony's "Spider-Man 3" over a three-day frame in May 2007.

Pity the other films on offer this weekend. Disney's family-fantasy sequel "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" bears particularly close watching, after opening at No. 1 last week with a disappointing $55 million.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>A scene from "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". REUTERS/Paramount Pictures/Handout</p>