1 Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva Inter Milan remain in hot pursuit of Liverpool midfielder Lucas, despite splashing the cash to bring Xherdan Shaqiri and Lukas Podolski to the San Siro.The 28-year-old struggled to cement a place in Brendan Rodgers’ starting line-up earlier in the season, but has emerged as a key player after a string of impressive performances for the Reds.And Liverpool are now seemingly unwilling to negotiate the sale of the combative Brazilian, especially to the club who beat them to the signing of Switzerland winger Shaqiri.Inter may also be reliant on offloading some of their current squad first, with Ibrahima Mbaye, Rene Krhin and Yann M’Vila all likely to make way to facilitate a move for the Brazilian.
HOLDOVERS: Will Smith’s “I Am Legend” beat expectations with a record December opening of $77.2million. Even if its receipts drop by more than 50percent, it will still gross about $35million and challenge for second place.Look for “Alvin and the Chipmunks” to continue its stunning performance. Its $44.3million opening was also a stunner, and it should remain in the top five with at least a $25million second weekend.MILESTONES: “Legend” will sail past the $100million milestone by Sunday. Inching ever so close – at a much slower pace – is Disney’s “Enchanted,” which could get a nice boost now that the kids are out of school.EXPANSIONS: A quartet of Oscar-caliber flicks are easier to find starting today.“Atonement” and “Juno” are now in 200-plus locations, “The Kite Runner” expands to 350 sites, and “The Savages” is playing in 60 firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champTHE FORECAST: I just saw “Treasure,” the sequel to the 2004 surprise Disney smash, at the ArcLight, and it was a load of fun. Since it will be playing in a whopping 3,500 theaters and should have widespread appeal, I’m picking it to come out on top of the pack with a $45 million debut.The young guys are gonna flock to Sony’s “Walk Hard,” which was written by Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up” and “40 Year Old Virgin”), pushing the film to a $20million to $25million opening weekend.Then, you gotta figure Hanks and Roberts will draw a lot of adults to see Universal’s “Wilson,” based on a true story and directed by Mike Nichols to take in at least $15million to $18million.Depp can be hit or miss at the box office, but I expect “Sweeney Todd” to add to his already dazzling 2007. (“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” grossed $309.4million domestically.) Since the musical from Paramount/DreamWorks is in just 1,000 theaters, it will not be able to contend for a top-three finish. But it can rack up an impressive per-theater average, take in maybe $10million, and begin strong word-of-mouth momentum.I fear that “P.S.” from Warner Bros. will get lost in the shuffle and struggle to reach even $10million. I know that the Christmas holiday is a primo time to roll out a movie, but did the studios really have to give us five wide releases this season?And these don’t seem to be throwaway flicks.You’ve got Oscar-winners Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the drama “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Oscar-winners Nicolas Cage, Helen Mirren and Jon Voight in the adventure sequel “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” Johnny Depp in the musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Gerard Butler and two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank in the romance flick “P.S. I Love You,” and former Oscar nominee John C. Reilly in the highly anticipated comedy “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”Whew!