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 last 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 September 15 – 17, 2017.

This weekend, mother! plays in 2,368 theaters and American Assassin debuts in 3,154 locations.

#1 – IT

Repeating in the top spot this weekend should be IT (read our review), which rewrote the September box office record books when it grossed a whopping $123.4 million in its first three days. Taking advantage of very minimal competition and its positive buzz, the film was exactly the shot in the arm the multiplex needed, drawing in large crowds eager to see anything that was high-profile. Though we’re now resuming a more normal release schedule with wide arrivals every week from now until the end of the year, it seems unlikely IT faces any legitimate threats for its crown. It’s become a bona fide phenomenon – something many casual audiences won’t want to miss out on. IT debuted with such high numbers, it would take quite the fall for it to be knocked off the perch, and that frankly isn’t in the cards.

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in IT 2 Box Office Prediction: mother! vs. IT

#2 – American Assassin

Our pick for second is American Assassin (read our review), a new action/thriller starring Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton. The film is based on the New York Times bestselling book, meaning it has a built-in fan base that should be curious to see how the story translates to the big screen. Additionally, it’s been a while since action enthusiasts had something to check out, so it may appeal to fans of the genre. However, there are more things working against American Assassin as it tries to make an impact at the box office.

For starters, opening in the shadow of IT is no easy task, since it likely will not be the #1 option for many looking for something to see at the movies this weekend. Also, the reviews have been mostly negative, with critics poking holes in its characterization and by-the-numbers story. Unfortunately, the film lacks the star power needed to overcome that kind of reception. While Keaton is a respected industry vet, he has never been a consistently reliable commercial draw in his career, and outside of the Maze Runner series, O’Brien doesn’t have much on his résumé. American Assassin faces an uphill climb, and it’s projected to make only $12.9 million in its first three days.

#3 – mother!

Coming in third should be mother! (read our review), the new film from director Darren Aronofsky. The helmsman is very much an acquired taste, but he does have some noteworthy titles on his résumé. In particular, Black Swan grossed over $100 million back in 2010 en route to its Oscar nominations and wins, so it’s possible for Aronofsky’s work to connect with wide audiences. However, it does not look like mother! will be one of those instances. The film’s metaphorical storytelling approach has already proven to be quite divisive, making it one of the most polarizing movies of the year so far. That kind of response definitely limits its commercial appeal, since it’s not a film for everybody.

Working in mother!‘s favor is that it sports an A-list cast that includes the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, but that may not be enough to give it the boost it needs. The trailers have sold mother! as a psychological horror/thriller, meaning Paramount is basically going after the same target demographic as IT. This is a kiss of death for mother!, as the Stephen King adaptation has been very well-received and is a crowd favorite. mother! is catered for very specific tastes, and its box office figures could suffer as a result. Tracking indicates an opening weekend of $9.7 million.

Jennifer Lawrence Shocked in mother Box Office Prediction: mother! vs. IT

#4 – Home Again

Coming in fourth should be Home Again, which came in second last week with $8.5 million. The film emerged as a decent counter-programming option for its niche, but hasn’t broken out beyond that. With two more wide releases coming out this weekend, business for it should begin to decline.

#5 – The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Rounding out the top five should be The Hitman’s Bodyguard (read our review). The action/comedy made just $4.8 million last weekend, indicating interest in it is waning now that it’s been out for a month.

Last Week’s Recap

Our Picks

  • IT
  • Home Again
  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard
  • Wind River
  • Annabelle: Creation

Actuals

  • IT
  • Home Again
  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard
  • Annabelle: Creation
  • Wind River

Next Week: Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office (Opening Weekend Projections)

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