'Fast Five' set to race past 'Rio'

Two films set in Brazil will go head to head this weekend in North America, with the latest entry in the
Fast & Furious franchise,
Fast Five, returning to easily toss
Rio from its roost at the top of the box office.

Anticipation is high for the fifth installment of the action series and it should prove to be a blockbuster with an estimated take of $76 million, according to BoxOffice.com. The last film earned almost $71 million on opening and a total tally of $353 million worldwide.

With Justin Lin directing again, the film features the return of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson and rapper Ludacris on the wrong side of the law, caught between a drug cartel and federal agent played by Dwayne Johnson ( The Other Guy).

Internationally, Fast & Furious 5 as it's called ranked first in the four markets where it debuted - the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. It releases in 10 more territories, from Germany to Russia, followed by debuts in Asia and Latin America, where it is expected to perform well.

Also releasing this weekend, the teen story Prom features relative unknowns Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDowell and Danielle Campbell as high schoolers getting ready for the big annual dance.

The film plays in 1,000 fewer cinemas, so it is not expected to take more than about $10 million, seeking to appeal to young Glee fans.

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, the sequel to the original 2005 animated film, offers an amusing twist on fairy tales with Red Riding Hood investigating the mysterious disappearance of Hansel and Gretel.

Starring Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Joan Cusack and Martin Short, this second installment shouldn't do much better than the first, which made $12 million on opening.

The animated Rio, in its third week, could land in second place for the weekend.

In a limited run are Werner Herzog's documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams and 13 Assassins from director Takashi Miike, starring Koji Yakusho, about a team of samurai during Japan's feudal era.

RC

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