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 Identical’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 September 12 – 14, 2014.

This weekend, Dolphin Tale 2 plays in over 3,500 locations and No Good Deed opens in 2,000 theaters. On the limited front we have The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby playing on four screens, Atlas Shrugged Part III debuting in 240 theaters, The Drop opening in 500 locations, and The Skeleton Twins getting an unspecified release.

#1 – Dolphin Tale 2

Our pick for first this week is the new family film Dolphin Tale 2. While it may not be high on the list of most anticipated sequels in 2014, its presence should reignite a stumbling marketplace that’s been rather barren in recent weeks. The original, which was released in 2011, grossed $19.1 million during its opening weekend en route to a $72.2 domestic total. Those aren’t Marvel numbers, but it’s still a respectable amount that indicates there’s an audience for this brand.

Perhaps due to the three-year gap between installments, Dolphin Tale 2 is only projected to make $15 million during its first three days, which is actually lower than this week’s other wide release. However, we’re giving it the advantage due to its family-friendly PG rating and the fact that it will tap into a niche that didn’t have much to go see this summer. As we’ve said in the space many times before, the lack of animated movies in 2014 has created a demand for anything for the youngsters, meaning this film should be successful early in its run.

Dolphin Tale 2 movie Box Office Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy vs. Dolphin Tale 2


#2 – No Good Deed

Coming in second should be this week’s other new release, No Good Deed. Even though it hasn’t had the most visible marketing campaign, it’s still generating buzz due to a high number of social media mentions. That, combined with fan-favorite Idris Elba in the lead, has led to some strong early tracking – with opening weekend projections currently at $17 million.

That would put it ahead of Dolphin Tale 2, but it’s important to keep in mind that these are just early estimates and may not tell the full story when the weekend is over. This year has already seen some films (including Guardians of the Galaxy) exceed those expectations, and a similar thing could happen here. Dolphin Tale has an edge due to it being tailor-made for families while Deed will play to a smaller corner of the moviegoing public. Plus, Elba is not exactly a reliable box office draw yet, even though he is a household name.

#3 – Guardians of the Galaxy

Look for the undisputed champion of the 2014 domestic box office, Guardians of the Galaxy (read our review) to slide to third this week. Business may be slowing down, but there’s no denying that James Gunn’s latest has been THE story so far as it inches towards $300 million. Last week’s $10.3 million intake illustrates that audiences are finally starting to lose interest, and the fresh blood provided by this week’s newcomers should cause Star-Lord and friends to fall down the charts.

#4 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Coming in fourth should be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (read our review). The reboot of the heroes in a half shell has had a healthy run for itself, totaling $174.6 million at the time of this writing. Like Guardians, it’s taken advantage of non-existent competition throughout August, but now it should start to take a hit. Dolphin Tale 2 will eat into TMNT‘s family demographic, causing the numbers to slip a bit.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TMNT Movie Reviews 2014 Box Office Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy vs. Dolphin Tale 2


#5 – If I Stay

Rounding out the top five should be If I Stay (read our review). The young-adult adaptation fell off quickly, as it only made $5.5 million last week, but since it’s one of the few options for the teenage girl crowd (a viable segment), its fan base should keep it hanging around for at least one more week.

#10 – When the Game Stands Tall

Our tiebreaker this week is When the Game Stands Tall, which came in eighth place last week.

Screen Rant Underground Logo Header Box Office Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy vs. Dolphin Tale 2


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):

  • Dolphin Tale 2 – 3.500+ theaters
  • No Good Deed – 2,000 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • Atlas Shrugged Part III – 240 theaters
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – 4 theaters
  • The Drop – 500 theaters
  • The Skeleton Twins – 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 Identical opening): Sal reports that Chris B. won with a score of 12.

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 – Guardians of the Galaxy (3)
  • #2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (3)
  • #3 – If I Stay (3)
  • #4 – Let’s Be Cops (3)
  • #5 – As Above/So Below (1)
  • #10 – The Giver
  • Final Score: 13 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)