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 Kick-Ass 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 August 23rd – 25th, 2013.

This weekend, the young adult fantasy novel adaptation The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones opens in 3,000 theaters, the apocalyptic comedy The World’s End opens in 1,400 theaters, and the horror film You’re Next opens in 2,400 theaters. The Grandmaster debuts in a limited release of 7 theaters.

#1 – Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Look for last week’s champ Lee Daniels’ The Butler (read our review) to repeat and finish the weekend on top. The historical drama surprisingly won last weekend with $24.6 million in its first three days. Strong audience word-of-mouth should help this film have strong legs during the relatively slow month of August. The Butler has also been receiving some very early Oscar buzz (particularly for Oprah Winfrey’s performance) and that added element could entice moviegoers to see it in theaters.

Based on Monday’s official numbers, The Butler remains the daily leader with a healthy lead over its competition. Since this week’s new releases are receiving little buzz heading into the weekend, the film could continue to be the popular choice amongst moviegoers.

#2 – We’re the Millers

We expect We’re the Millers  to come in second this weekend. The drug comedy finished in this spot last week by raking in $17.9 million in its second weekend to raise its domestic total to $69.6 million (at the time of this writing). Despite a mixed critical reaction (read our review), the Jason Sudeikis/Jennifer Aniston film has played well for audiences as positive word-of-mouth carried it to success so far. By being the one major comedy on the market, fans of the genre only have Millers to turn to and it should continue to perform well – as the new releases are not tracking that strongly.

#3 – You’re Next

Our choice for third place is the new horror film You’re Next. Distributor Lionsgate smartly placed the home invasion flick a month after The Conjuring and horror fans could be craving something new as they wait for Insidious: Chapter 2 to reach theaters. You’re Next has also received positive early reviews, which could help its box office prospects.

#4 – The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

In fourth place should be the latest young adult novel adaptation, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Even though it has ambitions of becoming the next Harry Potter or Twilight, this book series doesn’t have as wide a fan base as those similar titles, which might limit its box office potential. It’s also important for our readers to keep in mind that this film opens on Wednesday, August 21 and die hard fans of the series could rush to see it before the weekend starts, lowering its three-day numbers.

#5 – The World’s End

The final installment of the Cornetto trilogy, The World’s End, is our pick to round out the top five. This series has its fair share of fans, but neither Shaun of the Dead nor Hot Fuzz broke the bank in terms of domestic numbers ($13.5 million and $23.6 million respectively). The World’s End is also being released in just 1,400 theaters in the States, which will limit its opening weekend intake. While the film has enjoyed a strong marketing presence and the apocalyptic nature of the story may add to its appeal, there’s a chance moviegoers had their fill in this genre thanks to the performance of the similar minded This is the End.

#10 – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Our number ten tiebreaker is Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (read our review) which finished last week in sixth place.

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):

  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – 3,000 theaters (on Wednesday)
  • The World’s End – 1,400 theaters
  • You’re Next – 2,400 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • The Grandmaster – 7 theaters

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 (Kick-Ass 2 opening): Sal reports that BigNerd was the winner with 10 points.

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 – Kick-Ass 2 (0)
  • #2 – We’re the Millers (3)
  • #3 – Elysium (3)
  • #4 – Planes (3)
  • #5 – Lee Daniels’ The Butler (0)
  • #10 – The Wolverine
  • Final Score: 9 points and a perfect tie-breaker.

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)