'Hogs' rolls with 'Rider'

'Cycle films to gun for No. 1

By Ian Mohr
Variety
March 2, 2007

Disney will angle for its motorcycle ensembler "Wild Hogs" to run over Sony's B.O. champ "Ghost Rider" this weekend as the Mouse House guns "Hogs" into 3,287 theaters.

Paramount, meanwhile, is double dipping over the frame by sending out David Fincher's serial killer drama "Zodiac" and "Black Snake Moan," from the studio's specialty division Paramount Vantage.

Critically maligned, yet audience-endorsed holdover "Ghost" has ridden to consecutive No. 1 finishes at both the domestic and foreign B.O., and will remain a force to be reckoned with, likely winning the overseas title hands down.

The Nicolas Cage vehicle has already peeled off $82.2 million in just two weeks of release.

But while "Hogs" -- starring John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen and William H. Macy -- seems like a macho pic made for gearhead guys, it is actually tracking more strongly with women, which could put it over the top as a No. 1.

"Zodiac," meanwhile, which has a running time of nearly 160 minutes, will cut into more than 2,300 locations, while "Snake," from "Hustle & Flow" helmer Craig Brewer, slithers into 1,252.

Par brass isn't concerned that the two pics will butt heads. Studio sees "Zodiac" as a review-driven pic for the over-25 crowd and "Snake" as appealing to a core African-American demo, and crossing over to younger auds.
http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...goryid=13&cs=1