Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend – in collaboration with the Screen Rant Underground podcast Box Office Battle – to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.

For a recap of last week’s box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s opening weekend – and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our previous picks measured up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge that our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of May 9 – 11, 2014.

This weekend, comedy Neighbors opens in 3,200 theaters, animated film Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return debuts in over 2,800 locations, and comedy Moms’ Night Out sees a release in 1,000 theaters. On the limited front, Chef opens in 6 theaters while The Double gets an unspecified release.

#1 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Look for last week’s champ, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (read our review), to repeat this week. The sequel to 2012’s reboot grossed $91.6 million during its first three days. While that isn’t on par with the numbers Sam Raimi’s original films opened with, it still illustrates that the character is popular amongst moviegoers. Like all tentpole pictures, there will be a big second weekend decrease, but since it made over $90 million, that fall would have to be pretty steep for it to fall down the charts. Franchise fatigue may be starting to become a factor, but we think the brand is still strong enough to lead another week.

#2 – Neighbors

The new R-rated comedy Neighbors is our pick for second place. Trailers and TV spots have done a very effective job at selling the “fraternity vs. family” set up with a collection of amusing visual gags and funny dialogue. The film should also benefit from the presence of stars Zac Efron and particularly Seth Rogen, as the latter has a number of major hits under his belt.

Advertising has made a point to tell audiences that Neighbors comes from “the guys who brought you This is the End.” If you recall, that R-rated comedy went toe-to-toe with last year’s divisive superhero adaptation (Man of Steel) and made out pretty well for itself with a domestic total of $101.4 million. Considering that early word-of-mouth for Neighbors is much better than The Amazing Spider-Man 2, casual audiences could be more inclined to check out the comedy. While it probably won’t open big enough to dethrone Peter Parker (This is the End couldn’t top Superman, albeit in Man of Steel’s opening week), it’ll still post solid numbers and be a go-to option for raunchy comedy fans.

#3 – The Other Woman

Our pick for third is The Other Woman (read our review). It won’t be able to contend with a big blockbuster and a fresh new comedy, but the female-driven cast should carry this movie to another decent weekend.

#4 – Heaven is for Real

Coming in fourth should be the religious drama Heaven is for Real. Making $8.6 million last weekend, the film isn’t showing any signs of slowing down yet and should continue to remain in the top five for at least another week.

#5 – Rio 2

Rounding out the top five could be Rio 2 (read our review). The animated sequel was in a tight race for fourth last week with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as both films made over $7.7 million. With the arrival of Neighbors and the major holdover in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, most audiences will opt for one of those two big films. The Winter Soldier is nearing the end of its lucrative run and Rio 2 taps into a key demographic (families) that doesn’t have many options right now. We wouldn’t be surprised if Cap held on to the fifth spot, but the competition may lower demand even more.

#10 – The Quiet Ones

Our tiebreaker pick this week is The Quiet Ones (read our review), which finished in eighth place last weekend.

Notes

Despite the enduring popularity of The Wizard of Oz, we do not expect the animated installment Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return to have much of an impact at the box office. Even though it’s playing on over 2,800 screens, the film is projected to only bring in an estimated $3 million for opening weekend. That takes it out of the running for one of the top five spots.

Featuring a well-known director (Jon Favreau) and an all-star cast (featuring Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Favreau), you’d think Chef would be set for a strong opening, but the indie film won’t crack the top five (or be a serviceable tiebreaker) since it is only playing in six theaters. If the film ever expands to a wider number of locations, it could emerge as a counter-programming option during the summer season, but for now it won’t post big numbers.

That’s it for this week’s breakdown.

Now, if you want to participate in the weekly Box Office Battle, it’s time for you to make your picks! In the comments section below, post what you think will be the top five movies this weekend at the box office as well as your own number ten tiebreaker. Then, tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the results and find out who won.

Opening in theaters this week (Wide):

  • Neighbors – 3,200 theaters
  • Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return – 2,800+ theaters
  • Moms’ Night Out – 1,000 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • Chef – 6 theaters
  • The Double – unspecified

Box Office Battle Scoring Rules: You get three (3) points for each direct match with the weekend actuals and one (1) point for each movie placed within one spot of the exact position. A perfect score is 15 points. Tie-breakers are not worth any points but, in the event of a tie, the person with a tie-breaker selection closest to the number 10 spot will be awarded the win.

Last Week’s Official Box Office Battle Reader Winner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2s opening): Sal reports that Insufferable Deadpool was the winner with a perfect 15.

For the record, here are our picks from last week – along with the corresponding amount of points we received for each pick (listed in parenthesis).

  • #1 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (3)
  • #2 – The Other Woman (3)
  • #3 – Heaven if for Real (3)
  • #4 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3)
  • #5 – Rio 2 (3)
  • #10 – Bears
  • Final Score: 15 points

Make sure to check back later this week for the official box office results and tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the weekly winners!

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90

Source: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule)