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 Guardians of the Galaxy‘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 8 – 10, 2014.

This weekend, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens in over 3,700 theaters, Into the Storm debuts in over 3,250 theaters, The Hundred-Foot Journey is released in 2,000 locations, and Step Up All In sees a release of 2,000 theaters. On the limited front, we have What If playing on an unspecified number of screens.

#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. Setting a new August record with $94.3 million, Marvel’s space opera transformed from obscure comic book property to viable blockbuster franchise over the span of three days. Receiving some of the best critic reviews in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and winning over moviegoers with its combination of humor and heart, Guardians has generated more than enough positive buzz necessary to sustain a long run.

Granted, with a huge opening (not to mention, the $11 million grossed via Thursday night showings), it’s very much in the realm of possibility that this film becomes the latest to suffer from the infamous second weekend decline and see a sizable drop-off. That said, a front-loaded weekend won’t have much negative impact on Star Lord and friends. None of this week’s new releases are expected to see big business, and as audiences continue to rave about the fun adventure, James Gunn’s foray into the MCU should remain the most popular option.

#2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Our choice for second is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The trailers have made sure to emphasize the involvement of producer Michael Bay, and usually his name is box office gold (see: the Transformers movies). However, he doesn’t appear to be having the same effect with this 1980s pop culture mainstay. From the beginning, the adaptation has had to overcome a storm of negativity and it doesn’t rank high on many moviegoers’ radars. Early tracking indicates a $39 million debut; and while that’s solid, it may not be enough to top Guardians.

It’s also worth mentioning that TMNT is the bizarro Guardians in terms of early word-of-mouth. The first wave of reviews are in, and in stark contrast to the rave write-ups Marvel’s latest received, the heroes in a half shell have seen critics take an indifferent stance. This development could sway audiences away from Donatello and Leonardo and back to Rocket and Groot, hurting the potential intake for TMNT.

#3 – Into the Storm

Coming in third should be Into the Storm. Trailers and TV spots have sold audiences on the prospect of seeing a disastrous storm play out through horrifying found footage, but there isn’t a ton of excitement surrounding the project. Currently projected to make just $12 million, nobody is expecting this movie to become a major crossover hit.

Not only is found footage starting to play out of favor with moviegoers, the lack of any real star power doesn’t help either. Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) will get top-billing, but his name has not been featured in the advertisements and outside of playing Thorin Oakenshield, he’s not that recognizable. It’s unlikely Into the Storm can hang with the competition.

#4 – Lucy

Our choice for fourth is Lucy (read our review). Luc Besson’s action film has had a moderately successful run, parlaying the popularity of Scarlett Johansson into $79.5 million. Like so many other movies this summer, Lucy saw a notable second weekend decline, slipping 58.4 percent while Guardians took over the universe. Given that the demand is no longer there and two new nationwide releases with visible marketing campaigns are hitting theaters, we think this film will continue to slide down the charts.

#5 – Step Up All In

Rounding out the top five should be Step Up All In. In the realm of summer franchises, this is far from the biggest draw, but these films still find a way to dance in the top five opening weekend. The last entry, 2012’s Step Up Revolution debuted in the fourth spot with $11.7 million. This new installment is projected to open in the same range, with tracking at $11 million. There’s no way All In becomes a crossover smash, but it’ll fit a niche for this upcoming weekend.

#10 – The Purge: Anarchy

Our tiebreaker this week is The Purge: Anarchy (read our review), which came in seventh place last week.

Notes

We do not expect The Hundred-Foot Journey to crack the top five this week. Right now, tracking is at $11 million, which puts it in line with Step Up All In, so it could conceivably work its way into that fifth spot. However, the film lacks awareness (Step Up is at least an established series) and doesn’t have many big names to draw people in.

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):

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – 3,700+ theaters
  • Into the Storm – 3,250+ theaters
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey – 2,000 theaters
  • Step Up All In – 2,000 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • What If – 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 (Guardians of the Galaxy opening): Sal reports PeterGecko2 won with a score of 11 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 – Guardians of the Galaxy (3)
  • #2 – Lucy (3)
  • #3 – Get on Up (3)
  • #4 – Hercules (3)
  • #5 – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (3)
  • #10 – Transformers: Age of Extinction
  • Final Score: 15 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)