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Domestic box office in January hit a record $781.4 million, up a whopping 18% over last year--and Hollywood is hoping that momentum will continue with a bountiful spring.
B.O. is fickle: Last year, the record haul for summer was followed by a dismal fall, which then rebounded with a boffo Christmas season.
Exhibitors and distribs are too battle-scarred to predict that a great spring is a fait accompli--but the lineup gives them reason for optimism.
There are plenty of laffers--some might say an overabundance--as well as the usual bundle of genre films.
And a handful of titles have potential to become big grossers, including Paramount's franchise hopeful "The Spiderwick Chronicles" (Feb. 14), Fox/New Regency's sci-fi actioner "Jumper" (Feb. 14), New Line's Will Ferrell ABA basketball sports spoof "Semi-Pro" (Feb. 29), Warner Bros.' Roland Emmerich-directed "10,000 B.C." (March 7) and Fox's animated Dr. Seuss adventure "Horton …