B.O. boasts sparks, sharks

'Cinderella' in slippery soph sesh

A correction was made to this article at 9:02 p.m.

After months of tabloid obsession about their alleged offscreen antics, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s onscreen pairing “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” will be released in 3,424 theaters by 20th Century Fox.

In addition this weekend, Dimension will unspool Robert Rodriguez’s kidpic “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D” at 2,655 venues, Paramount delivers remake “The Honeymooners” at 1,912, and Lions Gate will open French horror pic “High Tension” at 1,323.

According to tracking, the publicity surrounding “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” has spurred interest evenly in all four quadrants, men and women, over and under age 25.

“It’s shocking,” said Fox distrib prexy Bruce Snyder. “I don’t know when I’ve seen four quadrants line up like that. Everything feels right.”

He added, “The only question is how sleepy the marketplace is.”

With femme interest in the actioner strong, pic should be able to muster a significantly stronger opening than did helmer Doug Liman’s “The Bourne Identity,” which bowed with $27.1 million in this frame in 2002.

Last summer, the second weekend of June rang up $159 million, led by “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” with $34.9 million in its second weekend. In addition, three new pics all opened north of $20 million: “The Chronicles of Riddick,” “The Stepford Wives” and “Garfield.”

Niche pics

This weekend, the frame’s other new titles are all niche plays, with “Honeymooners” luring African-American auds, “Sharkboy” going for young tykes and R-rated “Tension” fetching horror fans.

These three pics aren’t likely to crack the top four on the weekend box office chart, as the big three holdovers — DreamWorks’ “Madagascar,” Paramount’s “The Longest Yard” and Fox’s “Revenge of the Sith” — are all performing strongly.

Universal’s “Cinderella Man” will play its critical second frame. Strategy of releasing the pugilist pic in the summer season is based on a leggy run. Sophomore sesh is now even more important after a softer-than-expected $18.3 million opening last weekend.

“Sharkboy” follows the long and lucrative partnership Rodriguez and Dimension have had on the “Spy Kids” franchise. The three “Kids” pics have grossed more than $300 million domestic, and the third in the series debuted in July 2003 with $33 million.

“Honeymooners” is expected to follow in a line of summer titles aimed at African-American auds with a moderate opening. Last summer, “The Cookout,” “Soul Plane” and “Breakin’ All the Rules” all opened in the vicinity of $5 million.

Among the frame’s limited debuts are Disney toon “Howl’s Moving Castle,” which debuts with 36 dates. Helmer Hayao Miyazaki’s follow-up to “Spirited Away,” pic has grossed over $185 million in its home territory of Japan. “Spirited” managed $10 million in the U.S.

Fine Line releases new adaptation of “The Bridge of San Luis Rey.” Pic, starring Robert De Niro, Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel, will start on six screens.

Also debuting is UTV’s “Parineeta” at 50 locations and Thinkfilm’s “5×2” on two Gotham screens. In San Francisco, Cinema Libre will begin anti-fast-food doc “McLibel.”

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