Can Gromit Weather The Fog?

Capturing a giant, mutant bunny is one thing, but defending the top spot at the box office from a supernatural force of nature may prove more challenging to the clay-animated stars of DreamWorks’ and Aardman’s Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Rolling into theaters today is Sony Pictures/Revolution Studios’ The Fog, yet another remake of a classic fright flick.

First crafted by horror maestro John Carpenter in 1980, The Fog visits a sleepy seaside town where strange things start to happen exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sunk off the coast. Filling the Jamie Lee Curtis role this time around is Maggie Grace from TV’s Lost, and vfx house Hydraulx lends some updated creepy visuals.

With a recognizable cast that includes Tom Welling from The WB’s Smallville and film star Selma Blair (Hellboy, Cruel Intentions), The Fog should do well in its pre-Halloween debut. Other recent attempts at dusting off past horror hits have paid off as moviegoers made box office successes of new versions of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror.

With a higher theater count than The Fog, Wallace & Gromit has a fighting chance of holding its No.1 place, especially if word-of-mouth from last weekend proves substantial. The stop-motion comedy is expected to do boffo business in the U.K., where it opens to Aardman’s hometown crowd this weekend.

Another promising competitor is Paramount Pictures’ Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. The Cameron Crow-directed romantic dramedy should draw a sizeable female crowd as guys catch Keira Knightley in butt-kicking mode in director Tony Scott’s adrenalin-charged Domino, based on the real-life exploits of model-turned-bounty hunter Domino Harvey.