NEW YORK – Star Wars and Spider-Man are long out of the gate and raking in hundreds of millions, but don't think the studios have run out of summer blockbusters.
Hollywood has no less than a dozen big-budget hopefuls ready to go in the coming weeks.
Last year's summer season grossed more than $3.07 billion, and in 2002, with 143 movies debuting, it could be even bigger.
"I think we're looking at a record summer," said Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations, which tracks movie grosses. "We've got potential blockbusters in each month of the summer."
The New York Post asked three knowledgeable studio insiders to predict the grosses of some of the upcoming biggies — and their numbers are eye-popping.
This Friday's whopper is Minority Report, featuring the slam-bang combo of director Steven Spielberg and superstar Tom Cruise.
The futuristic drama, depicting a world where crimes can be detected before they happen, is expected to hit a nerve with post-Sept. 11 viewers. (Prediction: $175 million-$225 million)
For the teen and preteen set, there's Adam Sandler's Mr. Deeds, which is loaded with the comic's trademark toilet humor and sexual asides. (Prediction: $150 million)
July has five hot ones in the oven.
Mike Myers is back as Austin Powers, in his third James Bond spoof, Goldmember. (Prediction: $200 million-plus)
Men in Black II is one of the rare summer titles expected to attract all ages — kids looking for cool special effects and adults for the wiseguy cracks of alien-hunters Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. (Prediction: $235-$270 million)
Harrison Ford stars in Hollywood's latest Cold War actioner, K2: The Widowmaker. (Prediction: $190-$220 million)
For the kiddie set, there's the long-awaited sequel Stuart Little II (Prediction: $125 million) and the Cartoon Network's The Powerpuff Girls. (Prediction: $130 million)
August kicks off with the UFO thriller Signs, from the director of The Sixth Sense and starring Mel Gibson. (Prediction: $200 million)
Clint Eastwood returns as a serial-killer-tracking FBI vet in Blood Work. (Prediction: $135-$155 million)
Vin Diesel, of last year's brainless action surprise The Fast and the Furious, is back in XXX, as an extreme athlete who takes on the Russian mob. (Prediction: $140-$160 million)
And Spy Kids 2 features the return of two pint-sized crime-fighters. (Prediction: $140 million)
One of the studio execs says none of these films has "Oscar" written on them — but all are potential cash cows.