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 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword‘s opening weekend, and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our picks matched up.
Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge 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 19 – 21.
This weekend, Alien: Covenant plays in 3,760 theaters, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul debuts in 3,157 locations, and Everything, Everything opens in 2,801 theaters.
#1 – Alien: Covenant
In what should be a tight race for the top spot, we’re giving the slight edge to new arrival Alien: Covenant (read our review), the latest installment in the classic sci-fi series. Ridley Scott’s latest serves as the direct sequel to 2012’s Prometheus, which grossed $126.4 million for its entire domestic run – including $51 million over its first three days. Ever since that film premiered, its fans have been eager for the followup, especially given the various questions Prometheus posed. Covenant‘s marketing is also teasing at a return to the brand’s horror roots with trailers and TV spots that lean heavy on the xenomorph. That could help draw in moviegoers who were turned off by Prometheus‘ philosophical aspects, though there’s bound to be plenty of that in this film too.
Early reviews for the movie have been mostly positive, with many calling it a solid entry in the series. However, the reaction isn’t overwhelmingly enthusiastic, as some believe Covenant is just a hybrid of previous entries’ best aspects and doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the divisive response to Prometheus may have turned some viewers off from future endeavors in the franchise, so the demand may not be as high this time around. Covenant‘s projected opening haul of $35.9 million is indicative of this, since that figure is far lower than its predecessor’s debut. Still, Alien should be able to find a large enough audience in the early going to win the weekend.
#2 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Our choice for second is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (read our review), which has won the last two weekends. Marvel’s latest has become another unsurprising hit for the studio, taking in $263 million domestically as of this writing. There isn’t much left to be said about the blockbuster’s performance now, only that it is one of the biggest smashes of the year so far and the positive word-of-mouth will keep it hanging around. Alien: Covenant presents some competition, but that film’s R-rating could ultimately limit its overall audience, whereas Guardians‘ PG-13 classification makes it more inclusive. Still, the hype around Vol. 2 has died down a bit after a couple weeks, so its time at the top may be over.
#3 – Everything, Everything
Coming in third should be Everything, Everything (read our review), a new romantic drama based on a popular young-adult novel. The hope here is that fans of the source material come out to support the movie, which may be able to emerge as a counter-programming option for viewers looking for a break from the typical summer tentpoles. Though it’s a project that’s probably snuck under many radars, Everything, Everything is performing similar to Me Before You ($56.2 million domestically) in terms of social media buzz, which is a positive sign for its prospects. The film is obviously not poised to be a breakout crossover hit, but it should do well within its niche. Projections are currently set at $9.5 million for the weekend.
#4 – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
We believe Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the fourth installment of this long-running series, will come in fourth. The franchise has seen moderate box office success since it began, with 2012’s Dog Days debuting to $14.6 million en route to a $49 million U.S. total. While it’s done well enough with the target audience, a troubling trend is each installment has made less than the last, meaning this isn’t exactly on several most anticipated lists. Coming out at the start of summer movie season with several high-profile films competing for attention could mean Wimpy Kid is overshadowed. Youngsters are still going to be interested in Guardians of the Galaxy, so The Long Haul might be in for a long weekend. Estimates have it pegged for $9 million in its first three days, which would by far be a series low.
#5 – Snatched
Rounding out the top five should be Snatched, which came in second last week with $19.5 million. Though it drew in decent crowds, this Amy Schumer vehicle did not find the same kind of audience as Trainwreck, meaning it’s likely set up to see a decline as it enters its second week. Its one saving grace is that there aren’t many options for fans of R-rated comedies right now, but with Baywatch right around the corner, Snatched is probably going to slide down the charts.
Last Week’s Recap
Next Week: Baywatch, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and more!