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In one corner, a star-studded murder mystery from one of the most acclaimed directors in Hollywood. In the other, a family fable that features a CGI crocodile who sounds a lot like Shawn Mendes. As Hollywood heads into another quiet fall weekend at the box office, David O. Russell’s “Amsterdam” is squaring off against “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile,” and both new releases are facing strong competition from reigning champ “Smile.”

Of the two new entrants, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” seems to be in the stronger position. There haven’t been many movies geared toward kids — the last one was “DC League of Super-Pets” way back in July. The $50 million production will open in more than 4,300 locations, where it should make $15 million or more. Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film, is being more conservative and projecting an opening in the $11 million to $12 million range. That could be enough for a first-place finish, depending on how steeply “Smile,” which opened to $22.6 million, drops in its second weekend of release.

“Amsterdam,” an $80 million period piece from 20th Century Studios and New Regency, had seemed like an awards-season juggernaut. After all, Russell is a five-time Oscar nominee, who has fielded hits such as “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” With “Amsterdam,” he had commandeered a cast that included the likes of Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington and Taylor Swift. But all that buzz went up in smoke as soon as critics got a look at the film. The reviews have been savage, with the film languishing at a doleful 32% on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety‘s Peter Debruge wrote that audiences are “likely to find themselves asking, ‘What the hell is happening?’ for the better part of 134 minutes.” The bad notices should take a bite out of those box office grosses, with “Amsterdam” looking at an opening weekend of $10 million. It will screen in over 3,000 theaters, including 390 Imax auditoriums and more than 700 premium large format screens.

It’s shaping up to be a lackluster weekend at the multiplexes, which is bad news for theater owners who could use a few big hits. “Black Adam” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” can’t arrive soon enough.