Chock-A-Block Box Office
Since the Oscar ceremonies have often been called the Super Bowl for women (last year, of the 42.1 million viewers, 24.5 million were women 18 or older versus 14.1 million men in the same demographic group) and since most of the nominated films were directed at adults, the studios have decided to make this Oscars weekend mostly a boys-night-out affair. The winner, analysts have indicated, is likely to be Warner Bros.' 16 Blocks, starring Bruce Willis and directed by Richard Donner. Close behind -- although it is appearing on half the number of screens -- is expected to be the Dave Chappelle concert film Block Party. Another strong challenger is expected to be last week's box-office champ, Madea's Family Reunion. Two other counterprogramming newcomers are also expected to perform strongly, Sony's sci-fi/horror flick Ultraviolet, which was not screened for critics, and Fox's Aquamarine, aimed at female teens.