Last Updated: November 2, 2007By

(BY ALI NADERZAD/SCREEN COMMENT) This weekend could potentially deliver a jolt of much-needed caffeine into the studio slump we are currently experiencing. Universal Pictures’ American Gangster finally gets its theatrical release today and everyone will be watching for that make-or-break weekend. Dreamworks/Paramount’s Bee Movie will also be outing and, it is hoped, earn its studio an anticipated $ 30M take in its first three days of release. Some have even suggested that Bee could outdo American Gangster, not a completely unlikely proposition given what demographics are foreshadowing American Gangster’s arrival in theatres. Prerelease surveys are tracking a predominantly male and slightly older male demographic; Bee, on the other hand, is palatable to a more varied audience: you go with a buddy to see American Gangster. Bee movie will see families of three or four members clamoring for the best seats in the house and tubs of buttery popcorn. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who co-wrote the screenplay and lent his voice to main Beester Barry Benson, endlessly promoted Bee Movie on the talk-show circuit. And don’t forget that Seinfeld launched himself from a rooftop at the Cannes Film festival in a Bee suit, one of the highlights of the festival for some of the journalists present. Critics have been lauding Gangster, however, and the usually indomitable David Denby of the New Yorker has written, ‘American Gangster has been made with great panache and drive.’ So where’s the biggest take going to be? I’m going to see Gangster, but my money’s on Bee.