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 If I Stay‘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 29 – 31, 2014.

This weekend, horror movie As Above/So Below hits 2,500 theaters and action flick The November Man debuts in 2,400 locations. In limited release, we have Cantinflas playing in 350 theaters while The Congress and The Notebook get unspecified releases.

#1 – Guardians of the Galaxy

Look for last week’s champ, Guardians of the Galaxy (read our review), to finish in the top spot again. Grossing an additional $17.2 million last week, Marvel’s latest mega-hit became this summer’s top earner (domestically, that is) and has emerged as one of the season’s lone strong holds. What was once thought to be a massive risk is instead a blockbuster sensation.

As we approach a rather slow period for new movies, there isn’t much on the horizon that looks like it could threaten Guardians for first place. Neither of this week’s wide releases have been generating the type of buzz that’s necessary to dethrone the Marvel machine. With the marketplace somewhat barren, audiences should have no choice but to rejoin Star-Lord and friends for James Gunn’s wacky cosmic adventure.

Meet The Guardians of the Galaxy Box Office Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy vs. As Above/So Below

#2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

We think the top two from last week will repeat, as our choice for second is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (read our review). The mixed word-of-mouth was the likely culprit in it surrendering it top spot to Guardians last week, but the reboot of the beloved 1980s property has still had a very impressive run. Cumulating over $145.5 million through three weeks, this film has proven to be a favorite for moviegoers (particularly, kids). The lack of competition and newer options will play into its benefit, leading to another strong weekend.

#3 – As Above/So Below

Our pick for third is the new horror film As Above/So Below. The film hasn’t generated much interest in pre-release, as the early projections peg it for a $12 million opening. That said, the marketing campaign has been somewhat visible and a new horror movie should draw in fans of the genre. Ever since Deliver Us from Evil flopped last month, this potentially lucrative niche has yet to been tapped. It’s unlikely As Above/So Below becomes a mainstream hit, but it should do solid business for itself during the first three days.

#4 – If I Stay

Coming in fourth should be If I Stay (read our review). It tried to be the next Fault in Our Stars, but the Chloe Grace-Moretz vehicle couldn’t quite get there, mustering $15.6 million during its opening weekend. That was only good enough for third, meaning that this tragic-romance story is not going to find the same crossover success as other titles. The book’s passionate fan base will keep the ticket sales up, but with the masses not entirely interested, If I Stay should start to slide down the charts.

if i stay chloe moretz jamie blackley Box Office Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy vs. As Above/So Below

#5 – The November Man

Rounding out the top five should be The November Man. Fans of 1990s James Bond are in for a treat, as Pierce Brosnan returns to the genre that made him famous. Unfortunately, he’s not playing 007 in this spy film, meaning that the movie is arriving to theaters without much hype (despite a sequel already being in development). Early tracking says that the opening weekend is projected at just $9 million, illustrating that the mainstream is over the actor saving the world.

#10 – The Expendables 3

Our tiebreaker this week is The Expendables 3 (read our review), which finished in sixth place last week.

That’s it for this week’s breakdown.

Screen Rant Underground Logo Header Box Office Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy vs. As Above/So Below

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 November Man – 2,400 theaters (on Wednesday)
  • As Above/So Below – 2,500 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • Cantinflas – 350 theaters
  • The Notebook – unspecified
  • The Congress – 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 (If I Stay opening): Sal reports that Jones is the winner, with six points and the tiebreaker.

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 – If I Stay (0)
  • #2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1)
  • #3 – Guardians of the Galaxy (1)
  • #4 – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (0)
  • #5 – Let’s Be Cops (1)
  • #10 – Lucy
  • Final Score: 3 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)

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