Horn: Chris Nolan and Leonardo DiCaprio's "Inception" certainly looks like one of the cooler summer movies, and Nolan's no slacker selling tickets, either ("The Dark Knight"). But as uneven a year as Disney suffered through in 2009, 2010 is looking a whole lot brighter, and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (from "National Treasure" director Jon Turteltaub) looks huge.
Fritz: Matching the star and director of "National Treasure" with a well-known company brand should be a home run for Disney. If new studio chairman Rich Ross has his marketing team in place and ready to launch a new film franchise, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" should be a big winner. "Inception," meanwhile, looks more like Nolan's critically acclaimed drama "The Prestige" (domestic total: $53 million) than "The Dark Knight."
Paramount's "Dinner for Schmucks" versus Sony's "Salt."
Fritz: Angelina Jolie kicking butt in "Salt" looks like a surefire success. However, "Schmucks" stars Zach Galifianakis, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell are as hot as they come in comedy these days. In a summer short on smart laughs, I'll bet on "Schmucks" to be the "Hangover" of 2010.
Horn: If I'm not mistaken, Ben predicted that "The Blind Side" would open to about $20 million. It grossed $34 million in its first weekend. I'm not sure he's wrong about "Schmucks," though, but consider the source.
Warner Bros.' "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" versus Universal's "Little Fockers" versus Paramount's "Morning Glory."
Fritz: If I were Universal I might be worried about how long in the tooth the "Fockers" franchise is ("Meet the Parents" came out in 2000 and "Meet the Fockers" in 2004). But as John points out, "Cats and Dogs" is even older. And neither Harrison Ford nor Diane Keaton have carried a hit movie (without "Indiana" in the title, anyway) in quite a while, so I'll go with "Little Fockers."
Horn: It's telling that the underdog here is the only original movie, Ford and Keaton's "Morning Glory." The Warners pets sequel comes nine years after the first "Cats & Dogs" movie, so the momentum (and the weekend) goes to Universal's expensive "Fockers" sequel.
Disney's "Step Up 3-D" versus Sony's "The Other Guys."
Fritz: After seeing how 2009 went at the box office, would you bet on "Other Guys" star Will Ferrell over a 3-D installment of a series popular with young girls? I won't.
Horn: Well, I bet the Kings would win the Stanley Cup, so I'm not scared of contrary thinking. Ferrell is reteaming with director Adam McKay ("Anchorman," "Talladega Nights," "Step Brothers") so I say even if it had four dimensions, "Step Up" can't win it.