Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend – 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 Big Hero 6‘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 November 14 – 16, 2014.
This weekend, comedy sequel Dumb and Dumber To opens in 3,000 theaters and drama Beyond the Lights debuts in 1,600 locations. In limited release, we have Foxcatcher and The Homesman playing on an unspecified number of screens, Rosewater opening in 350 theaters, and Saving Christmas plays in 400 locations.
#1 – Big Hero 6
Look for last week’s champ, Big Hero 6 (read our review), to repeat in the top spot this week. After a year-long slump in this typically lucrative demographic (families), it seems as if the Disney/Marvel combination has given the segment a shot in the arm. Opening with a strong $56.2 million (higher than Wreck-it Ralph a couple years ago), it should be set for a long, financially prosperous run over the next couple of months. Positive word-of-mouth will continue to fuel it as a must-see option, and the lovable Baymax is all kids need to see to want to watch the film.
#2 – Dumb and Dumber To
Our pick for second is Dumb and Dumber To. This comedy sequel arrives in theaters 20 years after its predecessor, which was one of the most successful films of 1994 ($127.1 million). The brand took a hit in 2003 when the prequel When Harry Met Lloyd was released ($26.2 million), but that film did not star Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels – who are back in their iconic roles this time around.
Dumb and Dumber To has had a strong marketing presence, which is capitalizing on the nostalgia moviegoers feel for these characters. Trailers and TV spots have illustrated that Carrey and Daniels’ chemistry is still strong after all these decades, and it looks like it will pay off. Early tracking indicates an opening weekend of $35 million, which would eclipse the debut of last year’s delayed comedy followup, Anchorman 2. It’s been a while since viewers have had a decent laugh, so this one could be a strong player over the weekend.
#3 – Interstellar
Coming in third should be Interstellar (read our review). Christopher Nolan’s latest opened below expectations during its first three days by making “only” $47.5 million. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but it hints that audiences aren’t as enthralled with Interstellar when compared to Nolan’s other works. The sci-fi drama still has a “must-see” quality too it thanks to the outer space visuals and the conversation it’s generating, but it’s been a divisive film since it was released – which could impact the strength of its hold.
Usually, major “event” films such as this see a significant decrease during their second weekends – a scenario that could very well play out here. One of the most anticipated movies of the fall, Nolan’s fan base and casual moviegoer curiosity carried it during its opening weekend and with the mixed response it’s generated, it may not be able to hold on to second place with Dumb and Dumber To appealing to the masses.
#4 – Beyond the Lights
Our pick for fourth is Beyond the Lights. There hasn’t been much in the way of marketing for this film, which in most cases would create an awareness issue, but it’s still projected to make $12 million this weekend. The studio seems to have picked the perfect time to release it, since there’s only one other wide release and most of the existing holdovers have struggled to maintain strong legs at the box office. Beyond the Lights‘ debut in just 1,600 theaters will make it difficult for it to compete with the competition, but it should do fine on its own for now.
#5 – Gone Girl
Rounding out the top five should be Gone Girl (read our review). David Fincher’s buzzed-about drama has had one of the best box office performances of the season, becoming the auteur’s highest-grossing film with $145.5 million domestically. Its days in the top five are coming to an end, but the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel has been a bright spot for the past month and should continue to draw people in.
People are looking forward to Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher – his directorial followup to 2011’s Best Picture candidate Moneyball. That Brad Pitt-led sports drama made $75.6 million during its theatrical run, but Foxcatcher won’t reach those types of numbers; at least not immediately. It’s being released in a limited amount of theaters this weekend, which makes it impossible to crack the top five. Sony could expand it in the coming weeks; indeed, with Foxcatcher having scored overwhelmingly positive reviews (to go with its high-profile cast), it could post healthy box office numbers. But for now, it will have to make do with Oscar talk.
Last Week’s Recap
It was once again a fairly solid week for our predictions, as we correctly picked two films’ places in the top five. That would be Ouija, which took a big dive in the post-Halloween weekend to finish in fourth, and Fury in fifth place.
Early tracking was to blame for us having Interstellar and Big Hero 6 in the wrong order in the top two. Nolan has a remarkable box office track record, but his films have rarely gone up against stiff competition like a Disney animated film. Big Hero 6 had a lot going for it heading into the weekend and once again illustrated why you never bet against family movies – even when Matthew McConaughey is trying to save the world.
Our third place prediction, Nightcrawler, was where we were really off. Despite having strong word-of-mouth, the crime drama fell all the way to seventh place, after coming in second during its opening weekend. For whatever reason, the Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle failed to connect with moviegoers and did not hold well at all.
That’s it for this week’s breakdown. Make sure to check back later this week for the official box office results!
Agree or disagree with our predictions? Which five films do you think will top the box office this weekend? Share your own picks in the comments section below!
Next Week: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Big Hero 6, Dumb and Dumber To and more!
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90