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 Cinderella‘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 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 March 20 – 22, 2015.
This weekend, young adult sequel The Divergent Series: Insurgent opens in 3,750 theaters, action flick The Gunman debuts in 2,816 locations, and Do You Believe? is released in 1,300 theaters. In limited release, Danny Collins plays on an unspecified number of screens.
#1 – The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Our pick for first this weekend is the young-adult adaptation, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which is a sequel to last year’s hit, Divergent ($150.9 million). Though this film series never reached the staggering heights of works like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, the first movie’s total gross indicated that it had a passionate fan base that would turn out to support it. During the relatively quiet box office period of March, that’s really all you need. Insurgent is currently projected to open with $57 million, which is in the ball park how the first installment debuted.
If there’s anything working against the film, it’s that early critical reception has been poor, but that shouldn’t stop Insurgent from reaching the top spot. Divergent suffered a similar fate at the hands of pundits and turned out fine commercially. Which is to say: unless moviegoers have a stark change of heart this time around (and they shouldn’t, given the relative lack of competition), it’ll have an easy road to number one.
#2 – Cinderella
Look for last week’s champ, Cinderella (read our review), to fall to second in its second weekend. The retelling of the classic fairy tale had one of the strongest opening weekends of the year, pulling in $67.8 million during its first three days. Thanks to the popularity of the source material and its positive word-of-mouth, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Cinderella will be a strong hold for the next several weeks. The presence of Insurgent will take away some business, but its numbers were so high, even a slight hit won’t be too damaging.
#3 – The Gunman
Our pick for third is the new action film, The Gunman, starring Sean Penn. The film comes from Taken director Pierre Morel, a fact that marketing has played up throughout the campaign. Since that Liam Neeson vehicle was a smash hit at the box office ($145 million), that decision makes sense. There’s a chance that viewers draw a connection between the two projects and become interested in checking it out.
However, it doesn’t look like Penn’s foray into action filmmaking will be as commercially viable as Neeson’s. Tracking for The Gunman puts the movie at just $6.5 million, a far cry from the first time moviegoers met Bryan Mills and his particular set of skills. It also doesn’t help that early reviews have not been too kind to the film, painting it as a disappointing and generic entry in this genre. Action junkies looking for a fix will be drawn to it, but The Gunman hardly has the makings of a crossover sensation.
#4 – Kingsman: The Secret Service
Our pick for fourth is Kingsman: The Secret Service (read our review). Matthew Vaughn’s latest continues to be one of the season’s strongest holds, making an additional $6.2 million five weeks into its theatrical run. As one of the few options that currently has the power of word-of-mouth behind it, it will most likely remain in the top five for at least another week, drawing in curious moviegoers with its irreverent humor and sense of fun.
#5 – Run All Night
Rounding out the top five should be Run All Night (read our review), which came in second place last week with a modest $11 million: one of Liam Neeson’s smaller openings during the action phase of his career. With The Gunman opening and going after the same demographic, it’s very unlikely that Run All Night can hold well. Audiences weren’t particularly interested in it when there weren’t any new action movies opening, so the chances of it rebounding now that there’s direct competition are remote. Neeson is a good enough draw that this could hang in the top five for one more week… but it wouldn’t be surprising if it fell to the bottom half of the charts, either.
Last Week’s Recap
We correctly predicted the right spots for Cinderella, Run All Night, and Focus. Our third place pick, Chappie, fell all the way to fifth, and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel finished in sixth, when we said it’d be fifth.
Next Week: Get Hard, Home and more!